ANG Airman selected to serve on VA advisory group

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Marvin R. Preston
  • Air National Guard Readiness Center Public Affairs
A chief master sergeant assigned to the Air National Guard Readiness Center, here, has been selected to serve on the defense detail team to the Department of Veterans Affairs recently.

Chief Master Sgt. Christopher C. Guy, the personnel career field functional manager, will serve on a three member team that will provide recommended solutions on enhanced data sharing and the efficient transfer of the separating or retiring members' service treatment records from the Defense Department to the VA.

"My goal for this tour with the Department of Veterans Affairs is to advise, assist and facilitate the elimination of the benefit claims backlog by Sept 30, 2015," Guy said. "The team and I will be doing everything within our abilities to help accomplish that goal as early as possible."

The Veterans Benefits Administration is aggressively pursuing its transformation plan, a series of tightly integrated people, process, and technology initiatives designed to eliminate the claims backlog and achieve the goal of processing all claims within 125 days with 98 percent accuracy in 2015.

"On a typical day the team learns about issues, specific data sharing needs between the departments and we facilitate the creation of solutions and follow up on the progress," Guy said. "My ultimate goal is to make sure we uphold the solemn vow and our duty to help any and all veterans who require assistance."

The selection of Guy to the defense detail team is an example of a deliberate shift within the total force, starting with senior leader assignments.

Chief master sergeants and other senior NCOs from the Air National Guard have recently been selected to interview with major commands and serve at joint task forces which offer another voice to be heard from the total force.

The senior enlisted leader management office, or SELMO, was unveiled by ANG Command Chief Master Sgt. James W. Hotaling to state and wing command chiefs during the annual Command Chief's Huddle at Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center, Wisconsin, recently.

"The Air Force Chiefs Group was soliciting nominations for the assignment from each major command and after reading through the position description, there was a mutual understanding and agreement that this opportunity and my skill sets were the best fit for the total force," Guy said. "I was contacted as the most eligible candidate for this opportunity."

The SELMO ensures ANG senior enlisted leaders receive the same opportunities for development of those in the active component.

"The ANG senior leadership is committed to seeking and providing greater opportunities for guardsmen to serve at the highest levels of government, to represent the Air Force, and the DOD," Guy said. "This helps to break down barriers in order to successfully carry out the Air Force mission. We are one force and I am an American Airman."

With the Active, Reserve and Guard components increased integration, the future of the total force could look even more different in the years ahead.

"This is one of the first steps in a cultural change," Guy said. "One day in the not so distant future the Air Force may have a guardsman as a command chief at an active component wing, or an active duty chief as a state command chief. One day the chief master sergeant of the Air Force could be a guardsman, the possibilities for all Airmen become endless."