Top enlisted leader visits Maxwell-Gunter
By Senior Airman Melissa Copeland , Air University Public Affairs
/ Published October 05, 2009
MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. (AFNS) -- The 16th chief master sergeant of the Air Force visited with chiefs, first sergeants, enlisted instructors and Maxwell Air Force Base Airmen during a Sept. 25 visit here.
Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy visited with senior enlisted Airmen attending the Senior NCO Academy's Chief Leadership Course and students at the First Sergeant Academy at the Maxwell AFB Gunter Annex.
Both academies fall under Air University's Thomas N. Barnes Center for Enlisted Education. The center is responsible for the refining and enacting of all Air Force enlisted professional military education.
The chief said his three areas of high-interest are the importance of increasing opportunities for joint and coalition professional military education, the deliberate development of Airmen and the Year of the Air Force Family.
Aligning under the joint PME focus, AU brings international officers from more than 67 countries each year to attend the International Officer School.
Over lunch with local Airmen, Chief Roy defined his second priority, which is the technical and professional development of Airmen.
While serving in his previous assignment, Chief Roy said he found other countries want to replicate the U.S. Air Force professional development systems, for example, Airman Leadership School, Senior NCO Academy and the NCO Academy.
"These are the things that set us apart from everyone else," the chief said. "We have some outstanding enlisted leaders in the Air Force. Listening to their experiences tells me the systems we have in place are working."
Chief Roy said that although PME systems are working, Air Force leaders are examining options to shorten the 10-year timeline between ALS and the NCO Academy and also further define the credentials and resources needed to guarantee successful Airmen.
"We can stay the same or we can continue to improve ourselves," Chief Roy said. "The U.S. military will always continue to improve."
In reference to the recent designation of July 2009 to July 2010 as the Year of the Air Force Family, the chief recounted the four pillars in focus: health and wellness; Airman and family support; education, development and employment; and Airmen and family housing.
"We've got to remember that it's not just those of us who wear the uniform that are considered part of our family," Chief Roy said.
He also said although this year is designated to focus on these pillars, it is only the beginning of enhancing Airmen and family support.
Chief Roy also spoke with enlisted instructors at the Air and Space Basic Course who teach newly-commissioned second lieutenants expeditionary combative skills during their four-week indoctrination.
"We are a nation at war and we need to remember that," Chief Roy said. "This is our war ... and we will continue to do the things that are asked of us."
Maxwell AFB is home to the 42nd Air Base Wing and Air University, the center of Air Force professional military and continuing education for all levels of enlisted, officer and civilian personnel.