Hanscom Air Force Base   Right Corner Banner
Join the Air Force

News > Increased diversity, cyberspace highlight Gen. Hoffman's 42-year career
 
Photos 
Gen. Donald Hoffman
Gen. Donald Hoffman
Download HiRes
 
Related Biographies
 GENERAL DONALD J. HOFFMAN
Increased diversity, cyberspace highlight Gen. Hoffman's 42-year career

Posted 5/25/2012   Updated 5/25/2012 Email story   Print story

    


by Brian Brackens
Air Force Materiel Command Public Affairs


5/25/2012 - WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio  -- 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 world-wide 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.



tabComments
No comments yet.  
Add a comment

 Inside Hanscom AFB

ima cornerSearch

tabMission NewsRSS feed 
JSTARS Recap team holds industry week

Still time to register for upcoming focus week

Space, Aerial and Nuclear Networks Division offers up potential business opportunities

Significant milestone met as progress continues on AWACS upgrade

Initial phase of Joint STARS effort begins

Cursor on Target to host user group meeting

PEOs share information, emphasize collaboration at symposium

Battle Management division emphasizes acquisition priorities, sets sight on new initiatives

Hanscom facility looks to expand  1

tabHanscom NewsRSS feed 
AFOSI assists personnel traveling abroad via AF Portal

Air Base Group working to improve self-assessment program

Holocaust Days of Remembrance scheduled

PPE and situational awareness key to staying safe outdoors

Religious support teams minister to building occupants

AF Heritage of America Band to perform April 25

Hep B immunization guideline updated

Alcohol Awareness Month observed by Hanscom, military

Pulse on AF force management

Airman Leadership School Class 14C graduates

tabNews Briefs and HappeningsRSS feed 
Upcoming events

News in Brief

School Notes

tabCommentaryRSS feed 
We all need a wingman

Military spouse resiliency

tabPhoto FeatureRSS feed 
Photo feature: This week at Hanscom, April 10

tabFeaturesRSS feed 
Making a positive impact

Taking care of Airmen is senior enlisted advisor’s focus


Site Map      Contact Us     Questions     USA.gov     Security and Privacy notice     E-publishing  
Suicide Prevention    SAPR   IG   EEO   Accessibility/Section 508   No FEAR Act