My Chief, my mentor
Chief Al Boyle came to Elmendorf AFB Alaska in the late seventies. I was privileged to be under his supervision. He came into the unit like thunder shook up the lazy mediocre performers and turned the place on its head. Most did not like him because he purposefully took everyone out of their comfort zones and he demanded performance at the highest levels.
As a young Airman I was privately shaking in my boots but as time passed he and I clicked. When he went off for a couple of months to attend the Senior NCO Academy I felt a void.
We had many private jokes...none I can print here but he was my "dad" and I respected him like I'd never respected another. I was sad to leave Alaska.
In 1988 I received a call from Chief Boyle. He was stationed at Eielson AFB. I was at Hahn Germany. He told me "Charlie I need an ass-kicker up here want to come?" I was thrilled to be asked. I told him without hesitating "Chief I'll work for you anytime anywhere" and I meant it.
That was the last time we spoke and sadly the assignment to Eielson never came. As often happens life gets in the way of keeping up with the ones you care about. Losing contact with Chief Boyle is a major regret for me.
From the time I left his care I went on to forge my own great Air Force career. I spent my time in every situation modeling my behavior and actions as if Chief Boyle were still looking over my shoulder...I always wanted to please him and make him proud of me.
I retired as a Chief too. I credit Chief Boyle for taking a "long-haired John Denver looking MF-er" like me and turning me into something I never thought I could become.
I am so sad to hear of Chief Boyle's passing. I wondered but never dared to investigate.
"Chief--I know you can hear me. Let's raise our glass of Old Grand Dad just one more time."
I miss you my friend.
Charlie Wooten Close