Chief Alexander hosts wing senior enlisted leadership summit
By Jennifer Thibault, 50th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published February 20, 2019
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- There is no single playbook for leading a champion team. However, one key attribute is collective focus and effort toward a common goal, in this case, the mission and those who execute it.
The 50th Space Wing held a senior enlisted leadership summit Feb. 12 to conduct “champion business” and focus on the wing’s most valued resource: its people.
“The most lethal weapon we have in our arsenal is the human spirit ignited,” said Chief Master Sgt. Boston Alexander, 50th SW command chief. “We are about the business of building the warrior mindset and delivering a mission ready force.
During this summit, we are focused on building creative and critical thinkers because warfare has always been brain on brain.”
The summit included approximately 30 chiefs, superintendents and first sergeants from across the wing.
“The most successful warriors win then go to war, while other warriors go to war then seek to win. Preparation is key to winning,” said Alexander. “Winners see victory before they ever step on the battlefield. We are doing the same thing here, collectively seeing our victory and determining what actions we can take to ensure if it comes to it we are ready and we will win.”
The wing’s most senior leader made time to compound the message and champion focus.
“We are busy at the wing and we don’t get enough time to do this,” said Col. Jennifer Grant, 50th SW commander. “Thank you for what you’re doing. You are making a significant impact on our population.”
Recognizing the hard work, Grant encouraged attendees to be sure to take care of each other too.
“The business of leading people is hard work. It can be messy and can be draining sometimes,” she said. “Look to your left and right and recognize your support network is here. Continue to support each other, lock arms, lend a listening ear and offer some advice from your experience.”
Additionally, she reiterated the relationship between commanders and their senior enlisted is critically important.
“We are one team. There should be no seams, no light of day between you,” Grant said. “You should speak with one voice and handle issues together.”
The summit followed other professional development opportunities afforded to the wing, demonstrating a consistent focus on the wing’s third priority, “taking care of Airmen and their families always.”
“Investment in the enlisted corps is part of building a strong, championship team,” Grant said.
Other Front Range leaders joined the summit, including Chief Master Sgt. Heather Moody, Air Force Space Command’s personnel chief enlisted manager and a regional Air Force Wounded Warrior representative.
“People are our business,” she said. “Our personnel are personal for us.”
Moody highlighted some of the current updates impacting personnel, including base of preference process changes, the omission of SNCO testing requirement, commander support staff functions, upcoming diversity training and GI Bill transfer requirement changes.
Rod Schwald, Recovery Care Coordinator serving Peterson and Schriever Air Force Bases, Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station and Fort Carson, followed and explained how the AFW2 program supports taking care of Airmen during times of serious illness or injury.
The wing’s three group chiefs then provided updates on their organizations covering successes and challenges before the wing’s first sergeants summarized the trends they’re seeing and how to better care of Airmen.
“We talk a lot about intrusive leadership, you have to get in their chili to know them and see how they’re doing,” said Master Sgt. Michael Veale, 50th Security Forces Squadron first sergeant. “We need to also be intrusive wingmen. We have to be willing to dig a little deeper to truly understand one another so we can better support each other.”
For Airmen who may not be meeting standards, first sergeants offered advice.
“Don’t give me an opportunity to doubt your professionalism,’” said Master Sgt. Benjamin Davis, 4th Space Operations Squadron acting first sergeant. “It’s like integrity, it’s not taken-it’s given away.”
Another encouraged folks to take advantages of the opportunities all around them.
“Never walk by an opportunity to lead,” said Senior Master Sgt. Miranda Gomez, 50th Space Communications Squadron superintendent.
The summit wrapped up with encouragement and ideas for strengthening leaders’ skillset and the consensus that all wanted to continue to have similar collaborations in the future.
“Our future summits will have a wider scope,” Alexander said. “We will get our mission partners involved ... One Team.”