EBBING AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ark --
West, who currently serves as the 188th Wing Security Forces (SF) manager, is a 39-year military veteran, 25 of those spent in the Arkansas Air National Guard. When asked why he chose to serve, he reflected on inspiration from a classmate and Marine.
"Well, I had always looked up to him since he was a year older and the best drummer in the state of Missouri! At least in my opinion," West said. “He talked me into the Marine Corps in about 45 seconds."
Chief Master Sgt. is the highest enlisted rank in the Air Force. They serve as managers, superintendents, advisors, and provide senior enlisted leadership to their fellow Airman. West singled himself out from his peers through dedication to the military and his fellow service members.
“To make it into the 1% is amazing and a testament to the leadership I’ve had the pleasure to serve with. It’s an honor to know my leadership feels I’m worthy of this position, so I must have done something right during my career.” West said, “I would encourage and reiterate to all my troops not limit yourself, reach for the sky in your career and always give 100% in everything you do.”
“Chief West is a superb senior NCO who commands the admiration and respect of our Defenders,” said Lt. Col. Heath Allen, 188th Security Forces Squadron commander. “He boasts a diverse background and skill set that makes him a perfect fit for our Security Forces manager role. He has the pulse of the SFS. His counsel has been absolutely invaluable to setting a positive tone and establishing an innovative culture within our unit. He’s the model chief and I look forward to what our squadron can accomplish under his leadership.”
West has many accomplishments to date in his Air Force career. When asked what stood out to him the most over his 39 years of service he said:
“As a Marine Scout Sniper, I was chosen to go to the prestigious Marine Corps Scout Sniper Instructor School in Quantico, VA. The training I learned there helped me to become one of the lead Cadre to help eventually launch the Air Force Close Precision Engagement Course (CPEC). Starting that school as an Air Guard, Army Guard, Civilian Law Enforcement school at Fort Chaffee and Camp Robinson, and being a part of turning it into an accredited Air Force School was probably one of my biggest career highlights.”
West enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1981 as an infantryman, spending four years on active duty before joining the Alaskan Air National Guard in 1987, eventually making his way to the Arkansas Air National Guard in 1995. He has deployed in support of operations Constant Vigil, Noble Eagle, Iraqi Freedom, and Enduring Freedom. He has served as SFS operations superintendent since 2017 before becoming SF manager in Jan. 2020.