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Chief’s View: Bold Leaders Wanted

Chief Master Sgt. Cameron B. Kirksey, Air Force Reserve Command command chief

Chief Master Sgt. Cameron B. Kirksey, Air Force Reserve Command command chief

Citizen Airman/June 2015 -- As General Jackson mentioned, we recently celebrated our 67th birthday as an independent component. This milestone gave us a fantastic opportunity to reflect on the past. It also provided the perfect opportunity to think about the future. We know we are going to remain critical to the future, but to accomplish this as a force we need bold leaders at all levels.

The Air Force Reserve must be ready to meet the challenges we are going to face in the future. Our nation is going to continue to leverage the Air Force Reserve to meet emerging threats, and it is our job to be prepared. We have to be experts in our career fields, leverage our civilian training, and adapt to changing roles and responsibilities.
Technical competence is the foundation, but General Jackson and I also understand that to accomplish our mission we are also going to need bold leaders at every level. 

So what does bold leadership look like to me? Bold leaders look for ways to excel in their mission areas. They look for ways to improve the processes around them, and they develop innovative ways to accomplish the mission. They are always looking for opportunities to improve themselves and their organizations. They take the time to connect with their fellow Airmen, and they support each other at all times. Bold leaders are motivated, hard-working and consistent. Finally, bold leaders always take a stand for what is right.

How do I know what they look like? I know because we are serving side by side with these bold leaders every day.

Recently we celebrated the accomplishments of our Outstanding Airmen of the Year (see the article on Page 28). The men and women nominated for this award demonstrated bold leadership and exemplified the meaning of commitment and excellence. They are the men and women who are committed to innovation and decisive thinking. They are fiercely committed to creating a better Air Force Reserve. It is easy to think that a bold leader is the "other guy," but I challenge you to become that leader. 

My job as your command chief is to get each of you to not only be the best maintainers, operators and technicians you can be, but to get you to be the best leaders you can be. The demand for airpower is not decreasing, and our Citizen Airmen stand ready to support the fight. I have confidence that as you move forward in your career you will look for a way to be an expert, a leader and a role model for those around you.

Remember you are a bold leader! You have already proven that through your willingness to step up and serve our nation. Together we will create a Reserve force that was not only significant in the past, but one that is critical to our future. Remember, I'm here for you!