VCSAF and CMSAF visit AFDW’s Chief Master Sergeant Orientation

  • Published
  • By 1Lt. Esther Willett
  • Air Force District of Washington Public Affairs
Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein and Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James A. Cody addressed new chief master sergeants at the Air Force District of Washington's Chief Master Sergeant Orientation Course 29 Feb. 2016 at the General Jacob E. Smart Center.

"It's a big deal to be selected to be a chief in our Air Force," Cody said. "You have worked hard, and likely your families have worked harder and sacrificed more than you have. Don't forget that because your job now is to pay it all forward. It's all about how you are helping that next group of Airmen. None of this is about you."

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.

"Chief Master Sergeants make up 1% of our entire Air Force, and they exercise incredible leverage in our organizations," AFDW First Sergeant Chief Master Sergeant Manny Pineiro said. "It is critical that we take the time to equip them with the tools they need to lead our force into the future."

The direction our Air Force is headed is equal parts challenge and opportunity, said Vice Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein. As he discussed the Air Force's strategic vision, he encouraged the new chiefs to embrace diversity and leverage the unique perspectives of all their Airmen.

"We all have blinders. We all have things going on in our organizations that we can't see," Goldfein said. "We must surround ourselves with folks who can see these blind spots. Effective leaders must incorporate those who don't look at the world exactly like they do."

CMSAF Cody challenged the new chiefs to lead courageously and challenge the status quo in their respective organizations.

"You are extremely experienced," Cody said. "You bring a perspective that no one else in the room likely has, so bring it. Your head doesn't need to go north and south all the time if north and south isn't the way it needs to go. Be willing to have a candid conversation with people."

Both senior leaders responded frankly to participants' questions about the new Enlisted Performance Evaluations, force sizing, Airmen's benefits, and resource allocation.

The orientation will continue through Friday, Mar. 4, and will feature briefings and panels addressing diversity, religious freedom, enlisted force development, comprehensive Airman Fitness, and various senior leader perspectives.

"This week is a wonderful opportunity to network and to share best practices from your experience. Get involved, get engaged and get to know your AOR. You'll be surprised at what is going on that you're not aware of," said Chief Master Sgt. Manny Pineiro. "I expect you to take what you learn this week and sow it back into our Airmen."