PHOENIX -- The Arizona National Guard's first senior enlisted advisor assumed his new duties at Papago Park Military Reservation here May 4, 2014.
Chief Master Sgt. Shane Clark, a 31-year veteran of the Arizona Air National Guard, will serve as the state's top enlisted member - a position which only exists in a handful of states across the nation.
Maj. Gen. Michael T. McGuire, the Adjutant General of Arizona, selected Clark for his leadership experience as the former command chief master sergeant for the 162nd Wing at Tucson International Airport and for his emergency response expertise as a career firefighter.
"He has proven to be the first choice for domestic response as both a military and as a civilian firefighter," said McGuire. "He is the proven choice as a war fighter having pulled U.S. service members from danger during deployments. He is an enduring force for global security cooperation - experienced in partnership building as a leader within our international training wing."
As the senior enlisted advisor, Clark will be responsible for affairs concerning the enlisted members of the Arizona Army and Air National Guard and will be the chief enlisted advisor to the adjutant general. "I will make sure the adjutant general's vision and mission works through the leadership and reaches the Soldiers and Airmen," said Clark.
He will serve as a traditional, or part-time, Guarsdman like 75 percent of the nearly 8,000 members of the Arizona National Guard who drill one weekend a month and two weeks a year.
Enlisted Soldiers and Airmen will continue to be supported by a full-time state command chief master sergeant for the Air National Guard and a full-time command sergeant major for the Army National Guard.
"I will focus on how we are communicating with our M-day and drill status Guardsmen. We need them to know they are part of this organization 365 days of the year, and not just two days a month," said Clark.
"We will build our benches with capable leaders for the future," said Chief Clark as he emphasized the importance of professional development and the need for Soldiers and Airmen to have good mentorship, the same way a coach builds a winning team.
Clark said he subscribes to the philosophy of servant leadership; meaning people are his mission.
"I need to take care of them, give them the tools, resources, and professional military education to make them better than I ever was," Clark said.
For Clark, family describes his military and personal life. "I support him 100 percent. He is a born leader," said his wife, Lori Clark. "For many years I've watched him serve in the Guard and I see the respect from his troops. Countless times I've heard them say how Shane has been there as a mentor and confidant their entire career and now he still will."