USFJ Command Chief shares leadership perspectives with 35th FW
By Tech. Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton, 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published October 18, 2018
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- The Command Chief Master Sergeant for United States Forces Japan and Fifth Air Force visited Misawa Airmen alongside Lt. Gen. Jerry Martinez, the USFJ and 5th AF commander, here Oct. 10 and 11.
During this tour, he shared his perspective on how the 35th Fighter Wing supports the broader strategic objectives in the defense of Japan and continues strengthening the U.S.-Japan alliance.
The chief’s visit included down-to-earth conversations with Airmen from across the installation, allowing him an opportunity to hear their stories and communicate with them in a one-on-one setting.
“We need to know the person behind the uniform,” he explained. “Far too often our engagements are superficial. We don’t take the time as leaders to be intrusive, to know the person, their goals, fears, aspirations, challenges, and strengths.”
“To inspire, motivate and energize our Airmen requires a cerebral connection,” the chief continued. “This is hard work; leadership is not easy. We must be committed to knowing that person behind the uniform if we hope to build the kind of relationship that helps Airmen to achieve their full potential.”
Greene’s sentiments echoed Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright’s comments during the Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber Conference in National Harbor, Md., Sept. 19, 2018. Chief Wright said the Airmen we need must be well-trained, well-led and agile in addition to resilient.
“If the foundation of readiness is training, then the core of what makes an Airman more lethal is resilience,” continued Wright. “I used to think [resilience] was the ability to bounce back, but now I see it as the ability to move through the hardships, the pain, the fear and the suffering.”
Greene said the Air Force, and most notably, the men and women of U.S. Forces Japan, are already a resilient and agile force.
“Chief Wright is talking about the future and the challenges ahead, especially for a potential conflict against near peer adversaries,” he explained. “We must continue to innovate and invest not only in technologies but especially in our Airmen.”
“Our Airmen are incredibly talented when it comes to innovation, like Misawa’s own Tech. Sgt. George Madrid who crafted a paint scraper that lasts 10 times longer than previous models,” Greene continued. “This is just one of many examples of how USFJ Airmen are stepping up, making every dollar count and saving taxpayer dollars. This really drives home the need for us as leaders to pay close attention to their needs since they’re taking care of us and the nation.”
Warriors across USFJ and the Indo-Pacific should see themselves as serving in the region of preference, he added.
“Right here at Misawa you have opportunities to work with our Japan Self-Defense Force friends alongside the U.S. Army and Navy,” he added. “Service in Japan is one of the most unique experiences our Airmen and their families will enjoy in their lives. I challenge them to get out and absorb as much of the experiences as they can.”
“All national military authorities are focused on this region,” the chief continued. “Knowledge and expertise of serving in this region is of high value across the Department of Defense.”
As the chief and general wrapped up before boarding their return flight home, Greene said he and the general were “absolutely floored with the incredibly sense of pride and ownership” they saw from all of the shops across every level of leadership at Misawa.
“You can see the level of excitement in the Airmen’s eyes,” he said.
When asked if Misawa is ready for the next step, the chief said, “You’ve always been ready.”
[Editor’s note: Staff Sgt. Alyssa Gibson, Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs, contributed to this article.]