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Chief’s Orientation concludes today

Air Force District of Washington Commander Maj. Gen. Darryl Burke speaks to Chief Master Sergeants and selectees during the closing remarks of the Chief Master Sergeant Orientation Course on Joint Base Andrews, Md., Mar. 4, 2016. More than 40 newly-minted chiefs from the National Capital Region are attending this week-long comprehensive orientation designed to engage them in conversations which will help them excel in their new leadership positions. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech Sgt. Matt Davis)

Air Force District of Washington Commander Maj. Gen. Darryl Burke speaks to Chief Master Sergeants and selectees during the closing remarks of the Chief Master Sergeant Orientation Course on Joint Base Andrews, Md., Mar. 4, 2016. More than 40 newly-minted chiefs from the National Capital Region are attending this week-long comprehensive orientation designed to engage them in conversations which will help them excel in their new leadership positions. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech Sgt. Matt Davis)

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Maryland -- The Air Force District of Washington's Chief Master Sergeant Orientation Course concluded at the General Jacob E. Smart Center today.

The week-long professional development opportunity included a wide range of speakers who addressed critical issues facing today's Air Force. Additionally, a number of senior leaders and current and former chief master sergeants offered guidance and perspective to the newly-promoted chiefs.

"Becoming a chief master sergeant in our Air Force is a really big deal, and it's not an easy road to get there," said AFDW Commander Maj. Gen. Darryl Burke. "It provides you almost instant credibility. No matter where you go or what you do, everybody is watching."

The commander emphasized the importance of stepping outside their primary career fields to develop breadth versus depth. "You're going to have to make exponential jumps in a lot of different areas as you move ahead," Burke said.

The new chiefs are energized, and are taking their new leadership role seriously.

"It's surreal because of all the respect I've had for the chiefs that have led me," said Chief Master Sergeant Bob Kamholz from the United States Air Force Band. "As soon as you see the stripes on the sleeve, you want the guidance the chief has to offer. Those are huge shoes to fill."

The chief's job is to be the pulse of the organization, said Kamholz. Chiefs connect Airmen to senior leadership, pushing key learning up the chain, and generating buy-in for decisions made at the top. That is ultimately what is going to propel the organization forward.

"The course was an opportunity to gain a fresh perspective, to network, and to meet people who may help me problem solve in the future," said Kamholz. "I'll be headed back with that reinvigorated spirit ready to get some things done."