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Cause and effect: how you make the difference
By Command Chief Master Sgt. Herbert E. Mimler Jr., 177FW
TAG at Operation Jump Start

As I approach the end of my career in the NJANG, I have been reviewing all of the events during my tenure in the 177th Fighter Wing and as this unit’s Command Chief. Like many people, I have always set goals and tried to look down the path that was before me to determine where I would like to be in the future. I have always enjoyed working to achieve these goals.

The Air National Guard has provided me with many great opportunities. The education, travel and training and all of the associated experiences have been a large part of my life, and also of my family’s life. I thank all of my past supervisors and commanders for all of the investments they made in me, and in so doing, they made all of my experiences positive and pleasurable ones.

One story, that will always remain with me comes to mind. It dates back to my entrance into the Air National Guard. As part of a special requirement, for me to enlist, I had to obtain seven letters of recommendation. I began the process of collecting these recommendations from all of the prominent people I knew at the time. After obtaining the required seven letters, I submitted them to the unit and obviously, they proved to be acceptable. Fast forward 35 years and I found myself at the Fort Dix/McGuire Air Force Base - Base Exchange/Post Exchange and was in line at the check out, in uniform.

It had been a long road from entry into the Air National Guard as an airman basic and I now stood in line as a wing Command Chief. I looked at the person ahead of me in line and we both made eye contact at the same time. We recognized each other at the same time. Here in front of me was one of the men who wrote one of the recommendation letters so many years before when I enlisted in the ANG.

I should mention that he was not the type of person who would normally be willing to write a letter for a person to join another service, but he wrote the letter for me anyway. The gentleman in question, being a retired Navy officer, tried to enlist me in the Navy, when I was asking him for the letter for the Air Guard.

With wonderment, he looked at my uniform and was surprised that I was still serving. At that point, he had been retired from the Navy for about fifteen years. After we got through the check out line, we went outside to talk and he asked me about my career.

I briefly described my career and what I was currently involved with. He was impressed with what I had accomplished, while also realizing that many years had passed. At the end of the conversation, I shook his hand and thanked him for writing the original letter of recommendation.

I knew on his ride home, that he was thinking about how one small event 35 years previously had changed a person’s life and resulted in a positive outcome. Just as with the people who mentored me, I hope that during my career, I have guided people in a positive way and helped to influence them to make the right decisions for themselves and the Guard.

People are the most important asset the Guard has. How people think determines how they act and how they act is a key factor in how others will react to them.

You may never know the impact your actions and words have on others during the course of your career, but at the end of the day, when you look back at how you conducted yourself, you will realize that you have accomplished something very worthwhile. Knowing you did the very best you could do, you will then have the realization that you have completed your mission successfully.

As I turn over the mantle of this position to my successor, I hope that you will provide him with the same level of feedback and support that you have provided to me. My best wishes to you all for continued success in your military careers and whatever endeavors you may become involved with in the future. My sincerest thanks to you all, and may God Bless America.

Table of Contents
Volume 33 Number 1 Staff / Information
(c) 2006 NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs