Reflections: Brigadier General Mark E. Bartman Reflects on his Greatest Moments as Commander of the 180th Fighter Wing

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  • By Capt. Katherine Cherolis
  • Public Affairs
On February 12, Brigadier General Mark Bartman relinquished command of the 180th Fighter Wing to Colonel Steven Nordhaus in a ceremony at the 180th Fighter Wing, Swanton, OH.

Gen. Bartman, who pinned on his first star February 18, is now the Assistant Adjutant General for Air in Columbus, OH.

His new position puts him in charge of more than 5,000 Airman and his focus will shift from the operation of one wing to four wings and three geographically separated units. According to Bartman, he will now have to ensure the goals and philosophies of the Governor are integrated into the short and long-term goals of the Ohio ANG and ensure the legislative agenda of the Adjutant General and the Ohio ANG are synchronized with our elected officials.

As the Assistant Adjutant General for Air, he has several new goals for his position which include ensuring the ANG is developing agile Airmen, who have the training, education and skills necessary to meet the needs of the ANG, USAF and the Governor of Ohio. He plans to develop the tools needed to address the expected austere resource environment and develop both internal and external opportunities for growth. This includes continuing to have a robust Family Support program and network that can address the needs of our families as we continue the transition to new mission sets.

As he looks forward, there is plenty to reflect on during his time at the 180th Fighter Wing. His greatest moment, if he had to give just one, would have been when the Air Combat Command Inspector General Team Chief showed the slide during the Operational Readiness Inspection out-brief that displayed the word "excellent" as the overall inspection grade. "That one moment was such a culmination of blood, sweat and tears by every member of the unit to have the ACC IG team validate the previous two years of preparation," said Bartman.

When asked if there is anything he would have handled differently, Gen. Bartman, said, "Hindsight is always 20/20. I'm a firm believer that you can't look backwards. As Thad Matta (OSU Basketball coach) once said the reason the windshield on a car is much bigger than the rear-view mirror is because you're supposed to focus on what's in front of you. In flying airplanes we always talk about not dwelling on your mistakes because that causes you to lose your edge on what may happen next."

Gen. Bartman's advice to both enlisted members and officer's is to take advantage of all the opportunities that come along. "Don't hesitate to better yourself in both professional and personal areas," he said. "Growth only takes place when we challenge ourselves. I see so many Airmen who don't get PME completed as soon as they are eligible and then consequently they are unable to walk through that door of opportunity when it opens up."

Along with his belief of taking advantage of opportunities, he views every job that he has held in the past 28 years as a learning experience. He says, "Remember, if you're not learning, you're not trying."

When asked what his proudest accomplishment at the 180th Fighter Wing, Gen. Bartman stated, "The successes of the men and women of the 180th FW defined any accomplishments that I may have had. For example, standing up ASA, doing well on the ORI, helping to save natural resources by standing up the largest solar array in the ANG and meeting all AEF/ECS tasking thrown our way."

A motto that has stuck with Gen. Bartman since first hearing it in college, sums it up "you win with people." He says of course, any real Ohio State fan could tell you that the great football coach Woody Hayes spoke those words. It should be no surprise then that Gen. Bartman said he would miss "The people - period!" the most!

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