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Eighth Air Force Command Chief for a day

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Cody Melton

When I saw the email selecting me as the first airman to participate in Chief Woods’ command chief for a day, I thought it would be an interesting experience to see the life of a command chief through a first-hand perspective. I expected tours of the building and the opportunity to meet senior leaders from the “Mighty Eighth”. However, that expectation couldn’t have been further from the reality I experienced.

I started the day by meeting with Chief Woods’ executive assistant and got the chance to have a miniature mentoring session with him in the Chief’s office. We talked about his career and experiences and then got a quick briefing on the schedule for the day. Once the day officially started with Chief Woods, we began with a chat about my life before the Air Force and why I joined, and then Chief Woods talked to me about his upbringing in Chicago and why he joined the Air Force.

Around mid-morning, we left Chief Woods’ office for the first meeting of the day. Here, Chief Woods let me sit in his seat for these meetings and act as the senior enlisted advisor to Maj. Gen. Jason Armagost, the Eighth Air Force commander. This event literally treated me as if I was the Mighty Eighth’s command chief for a day -- I wasn’t just a shadow.

After a lunch and additional mentoring on career options and senior Airman below-the-zone conversations, we headed back to the headquarters building for a monthly command chief meeting where Chief Woods sits down with the command chiefs from every bomb wing in the Air Force. It was a great experience to see the level of dedication and care for airmen that these command chiefs have.

I encourage anyone who has the opportunity to participate in this opportunity to go for it. I was amazed at the efficient levels of communication and work that our Mighty Eighth leadership teams put in to ensure we’re able to continuously provide strategic deterrence in support of defending our country.