Maryland National Guard Selects Next Senior Enlisted Leader

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Chris Schepers
  • 175th Wing

For the second time an Air National Guard Airman has been named as the next senior enlisted leader of the Maryland National Guard. 

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Sims will officially assume the role of MDNG Command Senior Enlisted Leader from U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Perlisa Wilson, who is retiring after 32 years of service. 

“Serving as the command senior enlisted leader for the past three and a half years has been a tremendously wonderful opportunity and although, for me, retiring and moving on to the next chapter of my life is bittersweet,” said Wilson. “The sweet part is knowing that the person coming in behind me is fully capable and ready for this position. He was selected because one, he has prepared himself, and two, because he has the experience, knowledge, passion, and empathy to take care of all of our Soldiers and Airmen.”

Sims' primary role will be to advise U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Timothy E. Gowen, adjutant general for Maryland, on all enlisted matters involving members of the Maryland Army and Air National Guard.

“Chief Sims has a proven track record of leadership at the flight, squadron, group, and wing levels, and he most recently completed an exceptionally successful tour as the Maryland Air National Guard state command chief,” said Gowen. “I can’t think of anyone more qualified to serve as our state’s senior enlisted leader.”

As the 12th State Command Chief for the Maryland Air National Guard, Sims is the personal advisor to the assistant adjutant general - Air for the state of Maryland concerning training, readiness, morale and welfare, proper utilization, and the professional development of more than 1,400 Airmen.

“For me it has always been about serving the men and women of the Maryland Air National Guard and making sure that I am affording them opportunities to grow and doing everything in my power to make the Maryland Air National Guard a better place for everyone,” said Sims. “It’s not about me, as I am here for just a moment in time, so I want to make sure I reach out and impact as many people as possible and empower and inspire people to do bigger and better things."

Sims joined the Air Force in 1990 and has held many positions that have helped prepare him for his role as senior enlisted leader. He has served in numerous leadership roles throughout all levels while assigned to the 175th Wing and 175th Maintenance Group and as a Group and Wing First Sergeant.

Sims’ extensive background includes several active duty Air Force positions, including a special duty assignment to Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C., during which he was assigned to the Air Force Honor Guard as a pallbearer and instructor.  After joining the Maryland Air National Guard’s 175th Wing, he deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Inherent Resolve.

“If I’ve learned anything in my career it is to learn to be comfortable with the uncomfortable,” said Sims. “We are always faced with different and unique challenges and we aren’t always going to be the expert or the smartest person on the topic but that doesn’t mean you can’t make informed decisions and I’ve learned that sometimes the best way to take on challenges is to meet them head on.”

Prior to his current assignment, Chief Sims served as the 175th Operations Group Superintendent. As the superintendent he was responsible for providing advice and supporting the wing and squadron leadership on manpower issues, training, professional development, readiness, morale and welfare and discipline issues for the 175th Operations Group. 

The change of responsibility ceremony, which is scheduled for October 1, is a traditional event with rich military traditions and heritage. Similar to a change of command ceremony, the change of responsibility serves the dual function of rendering honors to the departing senior enlisted leader and providing official recognition of the transfer of responsibility to the incoming senior enlisted leader.

“I am humbled and honored and it is truly a privilege to be selected as the next Maryland National Guard Senior Enlisted Leader,” said Sims. “To lead the Soldiers and Airmen of the Maryland National Guard is an amazing task and I will give everything within me to continue the legacy of those that have come before me and will continue representing the Maryland National Guard at the highest level.”