Chief's Corner

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Bill Thomaston
  • 95th Air Base Wing command chief
Our Air Force Materiel Command Chief, Chief Master Sgt. Eric Jaren, visited Edwards AFB in late December and brought some powerful direction from the leadership team at AFMC Headquarters, Wright Patterson AFB in Ohio. Chief Jaren urged Team Edwards to get "back to basics."
"Back to Basics" is a phrase you've heard around the Air Force for several years now, but at Edwards Air Force Base we have some work to do. I encourage you to look around. Look at your base, your work center, yourself. If this does not feel like the Air Force you signed up for, ask yourself, "What am I doing to lead us in the right direction?"
Do you lead by example? Are you fit to fight and wearing the uniform properly, with pride? If the answers are not positive I encourage you to make the changes needed this New Year to make our Air Force the very best we can be.

Another question... Do you embody our core values?
Integrity first - Integrity should be in every fiber of every Airman. We serve the United States of America. We lead our nation's defense and are role models for those we work with, our family members, and the citizens we work for; if our integrity is weak, we are weak. We must hold ourselves and our wingmen accountable for integrity first!

Excellence in all we do - If we are being honest, if we have integrity and are holding ourselves and our team to the highest possible standards, excellence need not be a goal to be attained but rather a walk we take each day. It should be basic; it should seem simple. If it is not excellent, it is not right. I expect excellence in all we do.
Service before self - Service can mean a great many things and Airmen have a great many responsibilities. I know it can be difficult to prioritize what service requirements need the most urgent attention at any given time. I ask you to go back to your training when this question arises. We must all be good Airmen; we must excel in the basics. We must wear our uniforms properly at all times, with pride. We must be knowledgeable and well trained in our given profession and specialties. We must seek continued education and health. We must be financially solvent, ready for our nation's call. We must care for our teammates, our families, our communities, and ourselves. All of these things are service obligations.

The Air Force has given our leaders training on how to prioritize these service obligations. No Airman is expected to balance these things alone. I ask you to start with your supervisor when aligning what needs are the most urgent. Your supervision and our leadership have the tools available to help you be the strongest Airman you can be.

"We are 'Blue,'" Chief Jaren said when he was here. We have always been "Blue" and I expect our military voice to be strong here at Edwards. I am counting on each of you to lead by example. I expect to see excellence in everything we do. I expect to see uniforms worn properly and Airmen that are fit to fight. I expect you to know and practice proper customs and courtesies.

I am an American Airman; WE are American Airmen. We will not falter, and we will not fail. We will have integrity first, we will have excellence in all we do and we will put service before self at Edwards Air Force Base. We will lead AFMC by example in getting back to basics.