35th FW Chapel NCO STEPs up a rank
By Staff Sgt. Brittany A. Chase, 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published October 09, 2018
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Chris Jeffers, the 35th Fighter Wing Chapel resource management NCO in charge, received an on-the-spot promotion from staff sergeant under the Stripes for Exceptional Performers program during a wing-wide foreign object and debris walk, Sept. 10.
The STEP program provides slots to Air Force major commands to immediately promote Airmen to staff sergeant, technical sergeant or master sergeant.
“Before the FOD walk started, I heard Col. Kristopher Struve, the 35th FW commander, mention accomplishments I made when stationed in Afghanistan,” explained Jeffers. “I immediately became nervous but felt happy my leadership put me up for this promotion.”
His job includes assisting the chaplains with religious ceremonies and services as well as helping provide crisis support, suicide intervention, stress management and other counseling amenities to more than 11,000 Team Misawa members.
Lt. Col. Ryan Carville, the 35th Comptroller Squadron commander, said Jeffers embodies his vision of a humble leader and appreciates his tenacity and dedication to the mission and most importantly, the people.
“Jeffers is a foundational member of our Misawa AB Chapel,” Carville continued. “In my mind, he is equivalent to three NCOs. Not only accomplishing his primary duty as a religious support team member ministering to Airmen and families but also covering two vacant NCO positions and fulfilling roles beyond his rank.”
Although on paper it only states Jeffers is the Chapel resource management NCO in charge, he covers an array of responsibilities including: NCO in charge of chapel readiness and program support, records manager, the management internal control toolset lead administrator, contract manager, manpower director and individual mobilization augmentees support coordinator.
“He hit the ground running,” Carville added. “What set him apart was he never broke stride and continued to give everything to our mission every day. His efforts gained the trust and respect of his leadership and he earned the honor of being our ‘fire and forget weapon.’ We throw the toughest tasks his way and trust the product produced will be of the highest quality.”
He also served as the chapel superintendent, a master sergeant position, for 140 days in the last year.
“What is most impressive is not the massive workload he takes on day-after-day or his bandwidth and breadth of capability, it’s his attitude,” lauded Carville. “He is humble, not one to relish in the spotlight and, most importantly, he's a team player.”
More often than not, the roles played by a religious affairs member are not highlighted or publicly noticed due to the sensitive nature of their career.
Due to this, Jeffers explained this promotion showed him his hard work doesn’t go unnoticed and he feels especially grateful.
“I think the reason I was awarded this promotion is because of the busy nature and huge workload I’ve had over the last several years,” said Jeffers. “Being in a multitude of positions, like superintendent, has afforded me the opportunity to see the importance and impact my job has on others.”
Promotion aside, Jeffers’ ultimate goal is to help people to his fullest ability.
“I used to be a nutritional medicine technician, but then cross trained to religious affairs,” said Jeffers. “I wanted to do something different and wanted to help people, so once I saw the chapel’s mission, I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”
With his work ethic and personality, it became apparent to his leadership Jeffers was more than qualified for this promotion.
“He works diligently and quietly, conquering mountains every day with his sole focus on supporting his team,” said Carville. “He makes those around him better.”