JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. –
"I've heard about Southern hospitality my whole life, and now, actually getting to experience it, it's pretty impressive."
These are the first impressions of Col. Jeff DeVore, Joint Base Charleston commander. DeVore took command at a change of command ceremony Aug. 29, 2013, after serving as the commander of the 386th Expeditionary Operations Group where he led a joint team of Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen providing tactical airlift, aeromedical evacuation, search and rescue, personnel recovery, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and operational support capability throughout Southwest Asia.
"He's also a combat warrior, fresh off his eleventh deployment..." said Brig. Gen. Randall "Arlo" Guthrie, mobilization assistant to the Commander, U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., during the change of command ceremony. "His qualifications to command Joint Base Charleston are impeccable, and we are happy to have him."
And while DeVore is settling into his new role as the joint base commander, his command philosophy is well established and based on three fundamental pillars.
The first pillar is purpose. "In the military we need to know what our purpose is, why we're doing what we're doing, and know how that affects people. It gives us a focus and a mission," said DeVore, "If we don't have a purpose for the things we do, then we shouldn't be doing them."
Second is compassion, which to DeVore, represents "our inner fire. It gives you that emotional response to what you're doing."
His third pillar is professionalism.
"We chose the military, the military didn't choose us. When we took that commitment, it was to a higher standard 24-hours a day, seven days a week," says DeVore, "We as military members and civilians need to understand that the American taxpayer deserves a higher standard."
DeVore also plans on focusing the efforts of the base to create an environment at both work and home enabling everybody to reach their full potential. Key focal points of this plan include eliminating any type of discrimination in the workplace to ensure a safe and productive environment.
"How do you do that? You do it together, through partnership and cooperation. Everything the 628th ABW is going to do is going to be partnered with somebody. We want the total team effort moving forward," said DeVore.
With sequestration and budgeting issues on the table, DeVore plans to continue moving Joint Base Charleston in the direction of efficiency and resourcefulness. He intends on stretching every dollar as far as it will go because he sees our mission sets growing even larger in the future.
DeVore's initial impression of Charleston has been positive. "The attitude of people down here is incredible, not only from a military standpoint but the community as well. I love the warm climate, but what I'm looking forward to most is getting out in the community and experiencing the Charleston charm," Devore said.
After logging more than 4,000 hours as a navigator in the C-130 Hercules and being stationed all around Europe, the one thing that remains constant to DeVore is his passion for his family. In fact, it is one of the main reasons he is looking forward to his stateside assignment; it gives him the opportunity to reconnect with his wife and his children.
"Honestly, my main hobby is spending time with my family. I enjoy spending time with my wife and kids ... doing things together. Whether it's a lazy night on the couch watching a movie or enjoying some shrimp and grits in downtown Charleston," concluded DeVore.
Reflecting upon the legacy he wishes to leave at JB Charleston, DeVore said, "I don't think it's going to be a concrete legacy, not a name on a building or name on a street. The true legacy is going to be the way that we prepare and develop our Sailors and Airmen here."