New wing command chief wants 'to take care of Airmen'

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman R. Michael Longoria
  • 11th Wing Public Affairs
Relaxed and speaking softly in her new office, Chief Master Sgt. Robin Johnson, the 11th Wing's newest command chief, discussed her childhood, family and career goals for the position she assumed Sept. 1.

Chief Johnson grew up in Augsburg, Germany, but calls Clarksville, Tenn., where her parents settled in their military retirements, her home.

"I'd get a train pass for the summer and take off with my friends," said the chief. "I prayed at concentration camps, slept on beaches in Italy and visited museums all over Europe."
The chief said as a teen she often complained about being stuck in Europe and she wanted to go to New York City. She has since learned the timely lesson to "be present in the moment," and it's a lesson her adult children have learned as well.

Chief Johnson's three daughters and son spent their formative years in Washington, D.C. "It was awesome raising my children here," she said. "D.C. is a living textbook. You can bring the events happening in the world to life by driving downtown. Even though they complained about wanting to go somewhere else, they're now appreciative of the countless trips to the Smithsonian and Washington mall venues, U.S. Air Force Band concerts at Constitution Hall, and of course finding a great spot to watch the Bolling Fourth of July extravaganzas."

The chief, who enjoys music, reading and trying new foods, is quite familiar with the wing, spending the previous two years of her nearly 28-year career as chief enlisted manager of the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard.

"The Honor Guard was a great assignment with some of the most remarkable, disciplined Airman I've ever served with," said Chief Johnson, a Bronze Star recipient in her primary Air Force specialty career, inventory management. "I've been able to take care of Airmen who represented the entire Air Force and I've witnessed some of the most humbling and private moments for our greatest heroes. Now I have an opportunity to take care of even more Airmen assigned to Bolling."

And that's her goal as command chief - to take care of Airmen. The chief's philosophy is simple: "Be informed enough to communicate action and accept accountability," she said. "Every Airman is expected to know their job, but many Airmen don't understand how their efforts are tied into the wing mission or Air Force mission. 

"The AF portal provides a tremendous amount of information right at our fingertips," she continued, "yet some don't take the time to review the latest chief master sergeant of the Air Force's roll call, CMSAF Perspective, CSAF Vector or the Airman's Creed. Additionally, being a great Airman requires you to be a great citizen. This means we should actively plan a continuous self-improvement program and take an active role in community events, on and off base. This information leads to effective communication and real accountability for things we care about."

As for her thoughts on becoming command chief, the chief explained that she enjoys helping people succeed. "I start each day with a servant-leadership attitude," she said. "Every day is different, every challenge is important. Col. Jon A. Roop, our 11th Wing commander, has stated to me, 'The courage to study the art of leadership is what sets people apart.' Well no truer words have been said, and they encourage new endeavors and motivation to get the job done."

Other goals outlined by the chief are: promoting the enlisted development plan, maximizing the power of professional organizations across the base and the National Capital Region, and strengthening teamwork with other armed forces servicemembers.

Currently the chief is attending squadron and tenant immersion briefings. She will also brief during commander's call sessions scheduled for Sept. 24 and in early October.

As the 11th Wing command chief, she advises the commander on all matters affecting morale, welfare, quality of life, professional development, effective utilization and training, career progression, and overall mission effectiveness affecting more than 9,300 Airmen assigned to the National Capital Region.