167th’s command chief tapped for top enlisted Airman job

MARTINSBURG — The 167th Airlift Wingís command chief has been tapped as the state’s new top enlisted Airman.

Maj. Gen. James A. Hoyer, the adjutant general for West Virginia, announced the selection of Command Chief Master Sgt. John Alderton on Sept. 13 as the state’s new command chief. Alderton will replace Command Chief Master Sgt. Ronald D. Bowe, who will remain on the job for the next four to six months.

Chief Master Sgt. John Alderton

Alderton has served as the Wing’s command chief for the past six years. The appointment as the state’s command chief is initially for three years, with the option of being extended another three years.

As the state’s top enlisted Airman, Alderton said his office will be at the West Virginia Air National Guard’s state headquarters in Charleston. However, he will continue to serve as the full-time installation chief of Security Forces for the 167th Airlift Wing.

In that role he will consult the state’s adjutant general and his senior staff on matters of health, welfare and morale, professional development as well as the effective utilization of more than 2,200 enlisted personnel that make up the 167th and 130th Airlift Wings.

Alderton competed against three other candidates for the state Air Guard’s top enlisted job. He said he was honored by the appointment.

Ironically, being appointed the stateís command chief was never on his radar. His original goal was to make master sergeant in his chosen career field of Security Forces.

“My father retired as a technical sergeant and I wanted to at least rival him,” Alderton said. “I certainly believe in life, as well as in one’s military career, that it is all about timing.”

For nearly three decades the Martinsburg native has served with the 167th Airlift Wing. He enlisted in the West Virginia Air National Guard in 1983.

Col. Roger L. Nye, commander of the 167th Airlift Wing, said Alderton is the right person for the job.

“He has been an outstanding assistant to me and an outstanding advocate for the enlisted force,” Nye said. “He will do an outstanding job down there also.”

Nye said he will miss Alderton’s candor.

“He is not afraid to walk in the office and tell me that I have possibly made a mistake,” Nye said. “But when it is time to carry on and leave this office he’s always stood behind me 100 percent. He has been a great mentor to me too.”

Alderton said the next decade will provide plenty of challenges for the Air Guard’s ranks.

“Right now with the uncertainty of budgets as we go into the future with the force structure of our aircraft and things like that, I think will be a huge part in the way things play out in the future,” Alderton said. “The key for us is that we have to be postured for whatever the future does hold for us.”

Alderton is married, with two daughters.

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