Wednesday, December 02, 2009


The USAF has confirmed what we first reported more than a week ago: Chief Master Sergeant William Gurney was fired last month as Command Chief for Air Force Material Command.

According to a press release disseminated by the command, Gurney was removed from his post by the AFMC Commander, General Donald Hoffman, on 13 November. Hoffman cited a "loss of confidence in Chief Gurney's ability to perform his duties" as the reason for the dismissal. General Hoffman did not elaborate on the reasons behind his decision.

While Gurney was fired three weeks ago, AFMC did not confirm his departure until today. In From the Cold was told of his dismissal on 23 November, after Gurney's official photograph and biography were quietly removed from the command's website. Such actions have accompanied the removal of senior Air Force officials in the past, and sometimes provide the first public indication of a high-level firing.

Chief Gurney, a 27-year Air Force veteran, had served as AFMC's Command Chief since February 2008. In that position, he advised General Hoffman and the senior staff on matters relating to the command's 14,000 enlisted members and their families.

Before his tour at AFMC, Gurney spent much of his career in the intelligence career field. He previously served as command chief for both the 67th Information Operations Wing and its successor, the 67th Network Warfare Wing.

One retired chief, with extensive contacts at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio (where AFMC is headquartered), believes Gurney's dismissal is related to "personal conduct" issues.

A replacement for Chief Gurney has not been named.


Ed Rasimus said...

This phrase "loss of confidence..." which seems to have become the boilerplate language for firings gets a bit confusing when we are dealing with command chief master sergeants. They are the liaison between the enlisted troops and the commander, but they are not policy makers and don't have command responsibility.

So, the firing can't be related to mission in the same manner as the "loss of confidence..." in the leadership at Minot for example. It would more likely be linked to either some form of corruption or favoritism in his activities or linkage to some sort of scandal.

It reminds me of the big dust-up in the SEA days over senior NCO's in theater dipping into the slot machine revenues of the clubs and the liquor supplies for personal gain.

Will be interesting to learn more about this one.

Papa Ray said...

It's not hard to lose favor even after years of exemplary accomplishments and service.

One ah-sh1t destroys thousands of atta-boys.

But that's life.

But it appears that in the last few years, politicians, actors and such get much more leeway.

Papa Ray

John said...

"Will be interesting to learn more about this one."

No sh*t. When Chiefs and CSMs at that level get fired it reverberates through the enlisted chain. Personal failures/corruption? Probably, but as you said Major, this has got to be interesting.

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Tommy W. said...

Just read about this in the AF Times and I'm left scratching my head. I've known Chief Gurney and his family very well since 2003 when he was the Senior Enlisted Advisor for a joint intel unit we both worked for in Korea. I just can't imagine what might be behind this. Either way, that spells retirement for him now.