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Airmanship: Chief Bronson reveals priorities as new command chief

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Chief Master Sgt. Mark Bronson, 21st Space Wing command chief, assumed his new position Sept. 11, 2016, at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. As the voice of the Airmen at Peterson, Bronson works closely with the wing commander to ensure any needs or concerns are met. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Chief Master Sgt. Mark Bronson, 21st Space Wing command chief, assumed his new position Sept. 11, 2016, at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. As the voice of the Airmen at Peterson, Bronson works closely with the wing commander to ensure any needs or concerns are met. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – The inaugural 21st Space Wing Resiliency Award is presented to Staff Sgt. Ryan Meston, 4th Space Control Squadron, and his family during a commander’s call at the auditorium on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Oct. 13, 2016. In recent years, Meston was diagnosed with two types of cancer back-to-back, but is now in remission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. William Russell)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – The inaugural 21st Space Wing Resiliency Award is presented to Staff Sgt. Ryan Meston, 4th Space Control Squadron, and his family during a commander’s call at the auditorium on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Oct. 13, 2016. In recent years, Meston was diagnosed with two types of cancer back-to-back, but is now in remission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. William Russell)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- “I’m not from here, but it feels like I’m home.”

Chief Master Sgt. Mark Bronson is fired up to be back in Colorado as the new command chief for the 21st Space Wing. He encourages Team Pete to first be Airmen, and then to live the Air Force core values.

With a diverse background beginning in munitions systems and later changing to diagnostic imaging, Bronson can relate well to a wide spectrum of Airmen.

“I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty,” he said. “I’m proud of both my badges and I think it gives me a wider breadth of experience to pull from when interacting with Airmen.”

This is not Bronson’s first time serving at Peterson. Previously he served as the superintendent of the 21st Medical Operations Squadron and 21st Medical Support Squadron, but if anyone told him that he’d come back as a command chief, he may not have believed you.

Ever since the beginning of his enlistment, Bronson said his long-term goal was to be a chief master sergeant. During a talk about goals with a supervisor, it was highly encouraged for Bronson to consider becoming a command chief, something he didn’t know much about at the time.

Throughout his career, he had high standards and pushed himself to do the best he could. Bronson became a command chief for the 628th Air Base Wing at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, at almost 22 years in the military. He said it was a humbling experience and he was honored to be able to serve Airmen in that capacity.

Coming back to Colorado to continue as a command chief for the 21st SW is icing on the cake. Bronson said his favorite part of the position is having a voice to help people.

“The beauty is that it’s all about serving others,” he said. “As you progress in rank it becomes less and less about you, and more and more about those you serve. If you do a really good job of serving others, good things will happen at all ranks.”

As the voice of the Airmen at Peterson, Bronson works closely with the wing commander to ensure any needs or concerns are met. Because of their teamwork, Bronson said his priorities echo those of the wing commander. He also has a few priorities of his own.

“Beyond that, I want Airmen to know how they tie in to the mission,” he said. “I want them to truly understand that they play a vital part in the defense of our nation and the success of our Air Force. I want them to know how their job – whatever it may be – ties into that.”

In addition, he wants Airmen to get “honest-to-goodness feedback.” Bronson said he believes Airmen should know when they’re doing great and deserve a pat on the back, but they should also be aware of ways to improve. He acknowledges that it’s not always easy to be transparently honest, but Airmen crave it.

“Just like I do,” Bronson said. “If I can be better as a command chief serving Airmen, I want to know.”

The standard is high in the Air Force and he thrives by it. Excellence is a core value and Bronson believes it starts with each individual Airman living every core value.

“Every day we need to evaluate ‘Am I living the core values,’” he said.

To start, Airmen should live their lives by “integrity first.” Integrity is the foundation to all the core values, he said. Without it, there is no service before self or excellence. By leading a life with integrity first, people can continue to build themselves and create a thriving environment.

In the profession of arms, it’s important to continue to build one another up to be the best Airmen possible, he said. By putting on the “nation’s cloth” every day, service members become part of something larger than themselves and Bronson said that’s the key to success.

Airmanship, do your best every day, develop yourself and give back. In that order, he said.

“You’re an Airman first,” he said. “Then do your best at whatever the Air Force puts in front of you that day. If it’s augmentee duty, then be the best augmentee you can be. Strive for excellence in what you do every day.”

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