Salutes & Awards

June 1, 2012

Increased diversity, cyberspace highlight General Hoffman’s 42-year career

Tags:
by Brian Brackens
AFMC Public Affairs

In the past three and a half years, he’s overseen the reorganization of the Air Force’s most complex and diverse command, managed some of the most drastic budget reductions in the service’s history and been a champion of energy conservation.

Gen. Donald Hoffman’s tenure as commander of Air Force Materiel Command has been anything but normal, if there is a norm for someone who leads a worldwide organization of 83,000 people.

But after 42 years, Hoffman will relinquish command of AFMC and retire following a June 5 change of command ceremony.

In November 2008, Hoffman assumed the top position for the command responsible for the research and development, acquisition, test and sustainment of the Air Force’s current and future weapon systems.

In response to a Department of Defense call for more efficient use of tax dollars, Hoffman presided over the restructure of AFMC – the most radical change to the organization in its 20-year history. Upon completion of the reorganization, AFMC will shrink from 12 centers to five, cutting overhead and eliminating layers of management while standardizing processes across the command. The planned reorganization will reach initial operation capability in October 2012 and become fully operational during the summer of 2013.

In a recent interview, Hoffman reflected on his time spent in the Air Force, during which he witnessed much change.

 

Q: How does the Air Force of today compare to the one you entered in 1970?

A: A major difference has been the acceptance of diversity on many fronts. When I first arrived at the cadet area of the Air Force Academy in 1970, there was a huge sign that said “Bring me men.” So to be succeeded in command by the first female four star of the Air Force is truly a legacy of this time period. Diversity is important so that all members of the Air Force, no matter their background, beliefs or gender can feel that they are part of a team that embraces their strengths.

 

Q: What are some of the significant events that occurred during your career?

A: We fought and won the Cold War, we leveraged technology in how we fight, and we introduced the notion of cyber. The pervasiveness of computers in our lives and in war fighting has been significant throughout my career.

 

Q: What are some of the challenges you’ve faced during your time here at AFMC?

A: One of the challenges was the two reorganizations we’ve gone through. By nature I am not a reorganizer. I usually accept organizations that I’m part of for what they are and optimize within the system that exists. But we were faced with circumstances that forced change, and we had to adapt.

 

Q: What will you miss most about the Air Force?

A: I will miss the people and the ability to be able to work in an organization where you start off with the premise that you immediately trust each other. You see someone in the Air Force and unless proven otherwise, you immediately trust them. Hypothetically, if I were at a grocery store with my kids and one of them jumped out of a cart and hit themselves on the head and had to be rushed to the hospital, and I didn’t have time to worry about both children but I saw a staff sergeant in uniform shopping — I would have no reservations taking that child and giving it to that staff sergeant and saying, “Watch my child, I’m going to the hospital.” I would know that that person would care for that child and repatriate them. You wouldn’t do that to anybody in a grocery store. But I identified that person as a member of the Air Force who is totally reliable — someone I can trust sight unseen, without even knowing them. That’s what I will miss. That sense of community and mutual trust.

 

Q: Is there anything you would like to add?

A: It has been my good fortune to be part of the best Air Force in the world for 42 years. It was the best Air Force in the world when I joined it. It’s smaller now, its missions have changed somewhat now, but it is still the best Air Force in the world, and I have total confidence that those that follow me will keep it the best Air Force in the world. I lose no sleep whatsoever on the quality of leadership that the Air Force has today and will continue to have.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Air Force photograph by Jet Fabara

Edwards heroes save coworker’s life

Air Force photograph by Jet Fabara Left to right: Moses Zamora, Neil Edwards, Robin “Bubba” Hairston, and Derrick Shannon are heavy equipment operators with the 412th Civil Engineer Group who saved the life of their...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Wesley Farnsworth

AFMC announces, honors annual award winners

Air Force Materiel Command hosted its top Airmen of 2014 during the command’s Annual Excellence Awards event March 10 and 11, 2015. Sixty-one Airmen from throughout AFMC’s headquarters, centers and wings were nomina...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

Edwards thanked for ‘saluting’ AV youth

The Antelope Valley Union High School District recognized Edwards AFB March 17 for its contributions to the area’s annual Salute to Youth event. Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber Betsy McKinstry, Antelope Valley Union...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Ethan Wagner

Team Edwards welcomes 2015 Honorary Commanders

Air Force photograph by Ethan Wagner The 412th Test Wing hosted its annual Honorary Commanders Induction Ceremony at Club Muroc March 4, 2015. The objective of the Honorary Commanders Program is to provide Edwards commanders wi...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Ethan Wagner

Monthly enlisted promotions

Air Force photograph by Ethan Wagner Team Edwards Airmen sing the “Air Force Song” during the monthly enlisted promotion ceremony in the base theater Feb. 27. The 412th Test Wing generally holds its monthly promotio...
 
 

DARPA nomination packages due March 16

Commander-endorsed nomination packages for officers interested in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency fiscal year 2016 Service Chiefs Fellows Program are due to the Air Force Personnel Center March 16, officials announced. Nominees must be active duty major-selects, majors, lieutenant colonel-selects or lieutenant colonels who have a minimum secret security clearance and who are consi...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>