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Chiefs Development Week: Chiefs mentor Airmen

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Chief Master Sgt. Brendan Criswell, Air Force Space Command chief, speaks to audience of Airmen at the base auditorium during Chief’s Week at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., July 12, 2017. Alongside Criswell were six other command chief master sergeants who offered stories, mentorship and personal wisdom to the Airmen attending.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dennis Hoffman)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Chief Master Sgt. Brendan Criswell, Air Force Space Command chief, speaks to audience of Airmen at the base auditorium during Chief’s Week at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., July 12, 2017. Alongside Criswell were six other command chief master sergeants who offered stories, mentorship and personal wisdom to the Airmen attending. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dennis Hoffman)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Chief Master Sgt. Mark Holling, U.S. Air Force Academy Mission Support Group chief, mentors senior NOCs during a speed mentoring session during Chief’s Week at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., July 12, 2017. Chief master sergeants ranging from group level to numbered air force were in attendance to offer mentorship to Team Pete senior NCOs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dennis Hoffman)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Chief Master Sgt. Mark Holling, U.S. Air Force Academy Mission Support Group chief, mentors senior NOCs during a speed mentoring session during Chief’s Week at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., July 12, 2017. Chief master sergeants ranging from group level to numbered air force were in attendance to offer mentorship to Team Pete senior NCOs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dennis Hoffman)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Chief Master Sgt. Robert Woodin, Vosler Noncommissioned Officer Academy commandant, mentors senior NCOs during a speed mentoring session during Chief’s Week at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., July 12, 2017. Senior NCOs rotated between 10 different chief master sergeants during the mentoring session. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dennis Hoffman)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Chief Master Sgt. Robert Woodin, Vosler Noncommissioned Officer Academy commandant, mentors senior NCOs during a speed mentoring session during Chief’s Week at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., July 12, 2017. Senior NCOs rotated between 10 different chief master sergeants during the mentoring session. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dennis Hoffman)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Chief Master Sgt. Mark Bronson, 21st Space Wing command chief, checks ID cards alongside Airmen 1st Class Andrew Brem, 21st Security Forces Squadron installation entry controller, at the West gate of Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., July 13, 2017. Bronson was at the gate during Chiefs Development Week, a week designed to allow chief master sergeants to offer face to face mentorship to Airmen of all ranks. (U.S. Air Force photo by Steve Kotecki)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Chief Master Sgt. Mark Bronson, 21st Space Wing command chief, checks ID cards alongside Airmen 1st Class Andrew Brem, 21st Security Forces Squadron installation entry controller, at the West gate of Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., July 13, 2017. Bronson was at the gate during Chiefs Development Week, a week designed to allow chief master sergeants to offer face to face mentorship to Airmen of all ranks. (U.S. Air Force photo by Steve Kotecki)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The 21st Space Wing Chief’s Group hosted the Chief’s Developmental Week filled with events focused on mentoring junior officers and enlisted personnel of all ranks at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, July 12-14.

The week kicked off with a speed mentoring session involving 10 local chief master sergeants along with Chief Master Sgt. Mark Bronson, 21st Space Wing command chief, and Chief Master Sgt. Craig Neri, 14th Air Force command chief. Senior NCOs from all career fields gathered for one-on-one face time.

Broken into 10 minute sections, the senior NCOs rotated between 10 chief master sergeants, allowing for a more personable conversation regarding the obstacles senior NCOs faced.

“As a chief, you have been in the service for a while and you have got a lot of knowledge and wisdom to pass down,” said Senor Master Sgt. Christopher Greene, Air Force Space Command Precision Measurement Equipment Laboratory functional manager. “However, chiefs are usually sitting at the strategic level while the other SNCOs and NCOs are working on the tactical level and it can be hard to pass that learned knowledge down to them.

“When you can sit down with a chief and they impart that strategic knowledge to you at the tactical level, it really helps develop the big picture view of what’s going on – ultimately making your decisions more impactful.”

Following the speed mentoring session was an opportunity for Team Pete Airmen to engage in an open forum chief’s panel consisting of seven command chiefs. In attendance were Neri, Bronson, Chief Master Sgt. Harold "Buddy" Hutchison North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command chief, Chief Master Sgt. Brendan Criswell, AFSPC command chief, Chief Master Sgt. Robert Boyer, United States Air Force Academy command chief, Chief Master Sgt. Jason Tiek, 50th SW command chief and Chief Master Sgt. Vicki Robertson, 302nd Airlift Wing command chief.

“I have been in for 20 years and you rarely get this opportunity,” said Greene. “This is the first time I have seen this many chiefs, with all their years of experience, in the same room passing along what they can to Team Pete Airmen – this is pretty incredible.”

Airmen sat in 100 plus degree temperature for over an hour to listen and soak up all that they could from the chief master sergeants. Topics ranged from deliberate development of Airmen to fitness standards to more personal moments and candid learning lessons each chief encountered in their years of service.

Adding to their already busy week, the chief master gergeants of Peterson AFB were at the entrance gates in the early morning hours on Thursday, July 13, to check IDs.

“We are one team one fight,” said Greene. “It’s always a unique experience to look up at the gate and see a chief smiling back at you and scanning your common access card. It makes you feel like you are in good hands leadership wise. It an early motivator in the morning.”

Capping off the week, the chief master sergeants held a golf tournament to increase morale while also offering another opportunity for Airmen to connect and develop through a unique mentoring session.

Although golfing with a chief master sergeant might not make a solid bullet for both enlisted or officer, it is still a moment that Airmen can carry with them as they progress through the ranks. Someday in the future, they themselves may be wearing that coveted rank on their arm imparting what they know to the Airmen who are to follow.

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