ST. JOSEPH, Mo. --
It isn't every day when, straight from the nation's capital, the Air National Guard director and command chief master sergeant, visit St. Joseph, Missouri.
Between a change of command ceremony in the morning, where the 139th Airlift Wing and city of St. Joseph welcomed a new commander, and a military ball in the evening, visiting with the top leadership in the Air National Guard was a rewarding break from an otherwise busy drill weekend.
Lt. Gen. Scott Rice and Chief Master Sgt. Ronald Anderson together are responsible for more than 105,500 Guard members and civilians in more than 90 wings and 175 different units, across 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands.
While Gen. Rice is responsible for formulating, developing and coordinating all policies, plans and programs of the Air National Guard, Chief Anderson focuses on matters influencing the health, morale, welfare and professional development of those same Guardsmen.
While commuting between buildings, the general reflected on how visits like this can give a face and context to an otherwise abstract idea of Washington D.C. and the National Guard Bureau in general.
Gen. Rice and Chief Anderson, began their day by addressing every Missouri Airman from the 139th, during an all-call at the St. Joseph Civic Arena.
During a luncheon, the general and chief met with all senior leadership at the Benton Club in town, where each commander spoke about the responsibilities and accomplishments of the respective command.
An afternoon base tour for Gen. Rice and Chief Anderson, is when many Airmen had a face-to-face with these men. More than 100 Airmen from the 139th Maintenance Group were able to discuss concerns and ask questions regarding the future of the Guard, as well as current developments.
Both Gen. Rice and Chief Anderson spoke very informally and graciously while motivating Guardsmen whom they genuinely want to see succeed.
Many times it was evident that both men were as honored to be able to meet with the various Missouri Guardsmen as the Guardsmen were for having them present to see all the hard work that define their career in the Guard.
Lt. Gen. Rice and Chief Master Sgt. Anderson ended their tour by coining several Airmen whom their command pointed out for going above and beyond in their duties.