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News > 375th AMW welcomes new command chief
375th AMW welcomes new command chief

Posted 2/3/2011   Updated 2/3/2011 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Andrew Davis
375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

2/3/2011 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill.  -- The 375th Air Mobility Wing welcomed the newest member of its leadership team, Chief Master Sgt. Kevin Candler, who took the seat as the wing's command chief Jan. 17.

Chief Candler comes to Scott from Royal Air Force Alconbury, U.K., where he served as the superintendent of the 423rd Air Base Group. The chief started his Air Force career in May of 1985 as a communications-knowledge operations Airman.

Chief Candler took the time Jan. 25 to answer a few questions about his new role and his first impressions of the 375th AMW and its Airmen.

When you entered the Air Force in May of 1985, did you plan to be in as long as you have, earning the rank of chief master sergeant and finding yourself as wing command chief?
No. A friend of mine came back from March Air Force Base, Calif., and told me about the Air Force. Ultimately, I came into the service for many different reasons; some being patriotism, education, and traveling the world. However, I never imagined staying in longer than my first four years. What has kept me this long are the experiences and relationships you simply can't match when not in the armed forces.

This isn't the first time you've held the role of command chief, what did you learn in your previous command chief roles that will benefit you here at the 375th?

It's certainly nothing new, but communication is key to everything. As long as we're clear and communicate often with both our Airmen and family members, the mission tends to get accomplished with excellence and the quality of service for those assigned and visiting is normally above expectations.

As part of this and very vital on it's own point is that understanding the diversity of our military members and their families is required to make the most positive impact. Being visible and engaged is key to being the best leader a person can be, no matter the position.

What's your first impression of 375th AMW and its Airmen?

As I see more of the installation and our Airmen, it only confirms what I heard prior to my arrival ... the 375th kicks butt as they enable combat power. I'm very impressed based on their sense of pride, willingness to help one another when someone is in need, and not accepting satisfactory as the standard. I am excited to be here, to say the least, and thank Colonel Hornitschek for this opportunity.

What is your impression of the area around Scott?

I haven't been able to see a lot of our neighboring communities as of yet, but it reminds me much of the Indiana landscape where I was raised. I have heard nothing but great things and I look forward to continuing the great relationships we have.

What's your most important duty as command chief?

There are lots of things to be done, but from my perspective, it all points to leading ... through example, actions, thought, caring, commitment, communication, and preparedness. Among many expectations, I will serve by the core values, articulate the commander's vision and priorities, make sure we are focused on properly equipping and training our Airmen, building solid connections with our tenants in order to make Team Scott most productive and enjoyable, and be a Wingman for all.

What would you consider your favorite or best Air Force moment(s)?

There is no one single best moment, but my favorite times have all surrounded around meeting and getting to know people. Whether it's my fellow Airmen or other service members, their families, or members of the community, the patriots we have in our ranks and those who support us are tremendous and it's just an honor to be associated with them.

If you had to choose one person who's made the biggest impact on you in your Air Force career, who would it be and why?

Buck Sgt. Brenda Michael - she was my first supervisor. Sergeant Michael believed leadership was not simply just on the job, she believed in shaping her Airmen's future both professionally and personally.

On a personal level, she pushed me when I didn't want to do things outside the unit that I needed to accomplish, such as volunteering and school--she didn't give me the option, personally escorting me on many occasions, molding me to be a better Airman in the end. Professionally, she exposed me to things that took a lot of sacrifice on her part, but it made me a better leader because of the examples that her actions set. It wasn't just words with her; she walked how she talked and was engaged constantly.

Any words for the Airmen of the 375th AMW?

I look forward to serving with each and every one of you. I ask two specific things at this point in time: (1) Take care of one another ... have the courage to ask for help when needed and be courageous enough to step in even when you know it won't be popular. (2) Never forget what you're about ... the defense of this great nation ... providing opportunity to all that call this tremendous country their own. That is a sobering responsibility if you critically think about it. It could be your mother, father, brother, sister, grandmother, grandfather, son, daughter or friend, but somebody close to you expects you to serve with integrity, excellence and selflessness so they are free. They count on you every day ... don't let them down. Airpower!

Quick facts
Hometown: Vincennes, Ind.
Family: I'm married to my wonderful wife of 20 years, Lynn. We have two kids, a son Jacob, 11, and a daughter, Madison, 9.
Hobbies: Spending time with the kids and sports of any kind.
Sports: My favorite sports team surprisingly is the St. Louis Cardinals, always has been. And of course the Indianapolis Colts.
Dream job when I was 5: I think it would probably have been a major league baseball player.

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