Oregon National Guard showcase critical roles to top enlisted leader

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. John Hughel
  • 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Chief Master Sgt. Mitchell O. Brush, Senior Enlisted Advisor for the National Guard Bureau, visited the 142nd Fighter Wing and other hosts units, gaining a close-up perspective of various mission's sets here, while interfacing with Airmen about their work.

Brush is the senior enlisted leader for both the Army and Air National Guard, advising General Frank J. Grass, chief of National Guard Bureau, on all enlisted matters affecting training, health of the force and professional development.

After an introduction and briefing by Chief Master Sgt. Julie Eddings, 142nd Fighter Wing Command Chief, a group of senior enlisted leaders began a concise tour to multiple work areas around the base.

Accompanying Brush and Eddings on the tour was Army National Guard Sergeant Major Shane Lake, senior enlisted advisor for the Oregon National Guard and Chief Master Sgt. Christopher Roper, senior enlisted advisor for the Oregon Air National Guard Combat Operations Group.

During each area Brush visited, he handed out several of his 'Chief Coins' to commendable Airmen active in various duty stations.  As he presented one to Master Sgt. Anja O'Neil, assigned to the 123rd Fighter Squadron, and recently named the 142nd Fighter Wing's Wingman Award recipient this past year; he took the opportunity to define his philosophy of the full- time Guardsman.

"The reason we have a full-time forces for the National Guard is to support the drill status Guardsmen, period," said Brush.  "It is critical that when they [Drill Status Guardsman] come in on a drill weekend, they can come in at MACH 12 and dive right in."

Brush's tour included stops to the 142nd Fighter Wing Aircraft Maintenance hangar and base operations. He also received a hands-on demonstration from the Airmen of the 125th Special Tactics Squadron, one of only two National Guard units that are part of the Air Force Special Operation Command. On display was a variety of communication equipment, vehicles that can be delivered airborne and weapons used by combat controllers in the field.

As they toured the Combat Operations Group, Roper was quick to point out to Brush [that], "for three years in a row an Airman from the 125th has been selected as one of the 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year, including Tech Sgt. Doug Matthews chosen this year."

The 12 Airmen selected each year by the Air Force embody superior leadership, exceptional job performance and personal achievements.  In addition to Matthews selection, previous members of the unit designated for this honor were, Staff Sgt. Chadwick Boles (2013), Chief Master Sgt. Luke Thompson (2012) and Master Sgt. Scott Geisser (2008).

Brush also spent time with members of the Oregon National Guard's CBRNE Enhanced Response Force Package (CERFP) team. The mission of the joint Army and Air National Guard group is to respond to man-made or natural events with quick-response search and extraction capabilities and medical triage, treatment and fatality recovery.

Senior Airman Korey Shinagawa, a medic assigned to the 142nd Fighter Wing Medical Group and a member of the CERFP, detailed the latest training equipment to Brush and others touring the base.

"What I enjoy the most is coming in on a drill weekend and integrating my skills in nursing with the challenges of being a medic," said Shinagawa; who, after a 12-hour night shift at a local hospital, showed up on base to brief Chief Brush. 

"This is the kind of dedication and character that I find continually displayed by members of the National Guard when traveling around the country," said Brush.

Concluding his visit on base, Brush took part in a town hall event, addressing the challenges and concerns for Guardsmen.

Brush tasked the Airmen attending to be advocates for the military and help tell their story.

"The country needs each of you, and to help the community where we live understand what they get from the Guard, you need to talk about your role and mission," said Brush.

In closing his remarks, Brush emphasized his three P's: pride, professionalism and passion to those in attendance.

"Be excited, be passionate, I need you to be excited for our future, I need you to train the next generation; don't train them to your standards, train them to be better than you."