Upon meeting a new command chief, airmen are often unsure of what to expect and generally have questions. What kind of leader will the new chief be? What changes can we expect? As the 153rd Airlift Wing Command Chief, Chief Master Sgt. Darren Nogle is the voice of the enlisted force within the wing, and it is vital airmen have an understanding of Nogle, his command philosophies and what the future holds with him as their command chief.
Nogle took over for outgoing Command Chief Master Sergeant, Chief Master Sgt. Michael Abbott in a change of authority ceremony February 5.
Nogle began his military service on active duty in 1986 in the intelligence career field. After three and a half years, he took advantage of the Palace Chase program, allowing him to separate from active duty early and join the ranks of the Air National Guard.
After three years with the Wyoming Air National Guard, Nogle said he felt disengaged and as though he was just drilling to drill, not necessarily contributing to the mission; so he decided to separate.
Five and a half years and a business startup later, Nogle found himself missing the guard and was soon back at the 153rd.
Once back at the unit, he was a drill status guardsman until 2013, when he became the 153rd Operations Group Superintendent before being selected for the position of command chief in December.
“I can guarantee you without hesitation that Chief Nogle will take care of our airmen,” said Abbott.
For Nogle, the airmen are the most important part of the mission.
“I think if (airmen) are in the right place and taken care of they will do the right things. So I will take care of them to ensure they can do the right things,” Nogle said.
“He’s very hands on and takes an interest in airmen as individuals,” said Tech. Sgt. John Heap, a C-130 flight engineer assigned to the 187th Airlift Squadron.
As a business owner, of not only one, but two businesses, Nogle said he understands the challenges that drill status guardsmen face when it comes to balancing civilian endeavors with their commitment to Wyoming.
“Chief Nogle is a recent drill status guardsman and understands the struggles of these traditional guardsmen,” said Senior Master Sgt. CodiAnn Moritz, 153rd Operation Support Squadron flight services superintendent.
While Nogle’s experience assists in recognizing the needs of airmen, it is his beliefs that set him apart from other leaders.
“I don’t expect anyone to do anything I wouldn’t do,” said Nogle. “I’m not the guy that stands on the hill watching everyone work; I want to be doing it with them.”
With that being said, Nogle also places an emphasis on leading from the front and being an impartial leader.
“I don’t just expect respect,” he said. “Respect is earned and it is important for me to lead by example.”
“He’s a fair leader,” said Moritz. “He finds out all sides of the story, take into account intentions, the situation at hand, and doesn’t assume anything. He will ask a thousand questions just to gain a clear understanding.”
During his time as command chief, Nogle said he has a one major objective – to create cross-organizational cooperation.
“When airmen appreciate what every other airman does, there is a willingness to work together,” said Nogle. “If we don’t cooperate, nothing will get done. But once we do cooperate, the rest will fall into place.”
For Nogle, the challenge of being command chief is his chance to give back to the wing.
“My plan is to leave the unit better than I found it and positively impact as many airmen’s lives and careers as possible,” he said.