SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
About two weeks after moving into the 50th Space Wing Command Chief's office, Chief Master Sgt. Clarence Moore, Jr., sewed the command chief's rank insignia onto his uniforms--again.
Chief Moore was preparing to take over as chief enlisted manager for the 50th Mission Support Group when previous 50th SW Command Chief Master Sgt. Russell Kuck informed him that he would be the interim command chief. In addition to being an interim command chief, however, Chief Moore said he wanted to be hired into the position permanently.
Col. John Hyten, 50th SW Commander, decided he wanted to open the position up to all the command chief candidates on Chief Kuck's list, Chief Moore said.
"He conducted phone interviews with everyone--even me--to keep the playing field level."
A few days passed; then, at a going-away ceremony, Colonel Hyten let Chief Moore know he was hired.
The chief's first job at Schriever was superintendent for the 50th Security Forces Squadron. Prior to moving here, he was command chief for the 374th Airlift Wing and 5th Air Force at Yokota Air Base, Japan.
"I traveled three weeks every month," he said. "My wife and I talked, and I decided I wanted to come back as a cop."
It's a job with which he's familiar: the chief has spent 16 of his 26 years working for security forces units at bases in the United States, Turkey and Japan.
"My father was in the Air Force 28 years and retired as a senior master sergeant," Chief Moore said. "When I said I wanted to join, he gave me two words of advice: don't go into transportation--he was in transportation--and don't be a cop. Of course, I joined as a security forces member. He was just as proud of me."
Although retired Senior Master Sergeant Clarence Moore, Sr., died a couple of years ago, he got to see his son sew on chief stripes.
"I wanted to do one better than my dad," he said. "I joined with the goal of making chief."
Though he didn't get the opportunity to join as a military working dog handler, his Air Force experience, both as an Airman and as a family member, has been positive.
"I was presented with wonderful opportunities because my dad was in the military," he said. "We traveled around the world. I always had a good roof over my head, good food on my table, free dental and free medical care ... the Air Force has always taken good care of me."
The mission out here will take some getting used to for the chief: Schriever is his first assignment with a space mission.
"At Yokota, we were a flying wing. We flew C-130s. Here, we're a flying wing as well, but we fly satellites," Chief Moore said. "I'll be going through all the space operations squadrons, getting a broader idea of the wing's mission."
The greatest challenge--and the greatest opportunity--of his job as 50th SW command chief will be establishing a sense of community and family out at Schriever.
"At my previous assignments, I dealt with Base Exchange issues, dormitories, base housing," he said. "None of that is out here, but here I'm dealing with transportation issues, the cost of gasoline, trying to build a sense of community and family at Schriever.
"If you look at Schriever the next couple of years, it will be a completely different place than it is today," he said. "It is incumbent upon us that everything is right for the folks who are going to be living and working and performing the mission out here."
He expressed gratitude toward Chief Kuck for getting community-building efforts underway.
"The NCO and Airman development courses are exactly what we needed to do," Chief Moore said. "Also, this is the first base where I've seen field-grade officers recognized for their promotions."
Although the chief's tenure will probably have a long-term benefit for Schriever, he said leaving a mark is not his objective.
"It's never been about what I've done--for me, that's not what it's about, so I never go into the job with the intent to leave a mark," he said. "I'm here to do a job: to take care of the enlisted force, make sure the commander's and vice commander's messages get out to the troops, develop enlisted leaders and the chiefs who may be the next ones in the command chief position.
"Sure, there will be something that falls out that people can point to and say, ‘Chief Moore did this,' but that's not my focus," he said.
The values he learned as a security forces member and as an Airman in the Air Force Honor Guard stay with him even today, he said. Respect for authority figures, awareness of one's chain of command and knowing how to properly wear the uniforms are particularly important.
The chief thanked his first supervisor and number-two role model: Defense Information Systems Agency Command Chief Master Sgt. Tim Dickens. He also thanked retired Lt. Gen. Thomas Waskow, former 5th Air Force commander, and Brig. Gen. Mark Stearns, former 374th AW commander, for hiring him as their command chiefs.
He also thanked his wife, Chief Master Sgt. Mercedes Moore, and his four daughters for their support throughout his career.
"Without their support, there's no way I'd have made chief, much less command chief," he said.