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Chief's Corner: Retired CMSgt Tim Omdal

Official photo of Tim Omdal

U.S. Air Force retired Chief Master Sgt. Timothy Omdal, 21st Security Forces Deputy Director and former 21st Space Wing command chief, poses for an official photo. (Courtesy photo)


Around the New Year, many of us reflect on the past 12 months and prepare to face the future with a commitment to grow. Have you ever thought, “What is my purpose in the Air and Space Force?” Is this just a job or are you committed to a profession of investing in the people and mission? 

Some of you may be familiar with Rick Warren’s book “The Purpose Driven Life.” This book takes you on a 40-day journey to answer this question: “Why on earth am I here?” Keeping with this theme, what is your purpose as a noncommissioned officer?  

A purpose-driven NCO is a positive role model. When I reflect over my military career, the supervisors who made the most impact in my life were leaders who had a positive approach regardless of the situation.   

Charles Swindoll, an author and educator, offers these words regarding our attitude, “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think, say, or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a home.”  

He continues with, “The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace...We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.”  

In these challenging times we need positive leadership from you. Strive to be a role model with a contagious positive attitude. 

A purpose driven NCO invests in the future of those around them.  I believe true leadership emerges from those whose primary motivation is a deep desire to help others. Throughout my career, the time I served as a staff and technical sergeant were the most rewarding times, because I felt I had the most opportunity to impact the lives of the Airmen I supervised. Like any good investment, it will take time, sacrifice, patience and determination to make a difference in the lives of our Airmen and Guardians.   

A purpose-driven NCO also maintains high expectations. NCOs don’t pick and choose what standards to enforce. It is your responsibility to enforce them equally, at all times.    

Finally, a purpose-driven NCO listens to their Airmen and Guardians. I recently asked some Airmen in our unit what they expect from our NCOs. Read closely their thoughts:      

  • I expect NCOs to understand me as an individual and respect my career goals even if they do not match theirs. 

  • I expect a sincere interest in my problems, career development, and welfare. 

  • I expect to be held accountable for my actions in order to help me to understand the mission. 

  • Be honest with me, trust me and give me your confidence. 

  • Be a supervisor who balances their life, work and family. 

So, as 2023 approaches, I encourage you to consider what kind of impact you will have moving forward. This next year will bring about many challenges, however, I’m confident with a purpose-driven noncommissioned corps, great things are ahead of us. Thank you for what you have already done, but more importantly, thank you for what you are about to do.