Chief Master Sgt. Heidi Bunker speaks to Airmen.

Photo by Staff Sgt. Rachel Simones, 178th Wing Public Affairs

As command chief of the 178th Wing, Chief Master Sgt. Heidi Bunker speaks to Airmen about how to improve their interview skills as part of a professional development event May 5, 2019, at Springfield-Beckley Air National Guard Base in Springfield, Ohio. Bunker was appointed in January 2020 as the 11th state command chief master sergeant of the Ohio Air National Guard.

State command chief:
Airmen care, development top priorities

Story by Stephanie Beougher, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs


In her relatively new role as the highest-ranking enlisted member of the Ohio Air National Guard, Chief Master Sgt. Heidi Bunker is most excited for the opportunity to "serve the amazing Airmen of Ohio."

Bunker, who took over responsibilities as Ohio Air National Guard state command chief from Chief Master Sgt. Thomas Jones in January, is the principal enlisted adviser to senior Ohio Air National Guard leadership and is responsible for influencing the health, morale and welfare of the organization's more than 4,000 enlisted personnel and their families. She is Ohio's 11th state command chief master sergeant and only the second woman to hold the position.

Bunker began her military career in October 1991 as an air transportation specialist in the 179th Aerial Port Squadron in Mansfield, Ohio. She has held several positions within the Ohio Air National Guard over the past 28 years, with her most recent being command chief master sergeant at the 178th Wing in Springfield, Ohio.

“I wanted to serve the country. It was a long-standing curiosity of mine. I also wanted to travel and go to college, and I thought the military could give me those things that my parents and community were unable to give at the time,” Bunker said.

She said the most rewarding experience for her as a Guard member came in 2005 when she deployed for 30 days to Louisiana on a humanitarian mission to support recovery efforts following Hurricane Katrina. Bunker has also deployed in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

“Chief Bunker brings a tremendous energy and focus to her new role as the state command chief,” said Brig. Gen. James Camp, assistant adjutant general for Air. “I know I speak for the entire Air staff at the Joint Force Headquarters, we’re lucky to have her leadership and experience. I would not be surprised to see Chief Bunker serve at the national level in the future.”

As the state command chief master sergeant, Bunker sees her top priority as caring for and developing Airmen to succeed when faced with challenges.

“We are going to have a lot of challenges ahead. We are going to need Airmen who are ready, flexible and growth focused. In order for this to happen, they will need cultures and environments that encourage this,” Bunker said. “We need Airmen who see challenges as opportunities. Increasing the emotional intelligence, resilience and cognitive flexibility of our Airmen will play key roles in our success.”

Bunker compares the state command chief role to that of a coach, helping Airmen “see their own potential and individual power.” Her standing advice for Airmen is to take care of themselves — physically, mentally, socially and spiritually — in order to be at their best and strong enough to help others.

Photos by Tech. Sgt. Nic Kuetemeyer, 121st Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs


Chief Master Sergeant Scott E. Ross addresses the members of 178th Wing.

178th Wing welcomes new command chief

The 178th Wing welcomed a new wing command chief master sergeant during a change of authority ceremony. Chief Master Sgt. Scott E. Ross assumed the role of 178th Wing command chief from Chief Master Sgt. Heidi A. Bunker Jan. 12, 2020, at Springfield-Beckley Air National Guard Base in Springfield, Ohio.


178th Wing change of authority ceremony

Video highlights from 178th Wing change of responsibility ceremony Jan. 12, 2020, in Springfield, Ohio. Chief Master Sgt. Scott E. Ross assumed the role of 178th Wing command chief master sergeant from Chief Master Sgt. Heidi A. Bunker, who was appointed command chief of the Ohio Air National Guard.

Airmen of the year stand on stage with awards.

Air Guard praises 'outstanding' Airmen

The Air National Guard recognized its six Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2010 in Washington, D.C. with an award ceremony, a formal banquet and a tour of the nation’s capital. Master Sgt. Heidi Bunker, of the Ohio National Guard’s 179th Airlift Wing, was named first sergeant of the year for the entire Air National Guard.