Retired CMSAF Gaylor engages with Airmen

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Ian Dudley
  • 30th Space Wing Public Affairs
Retired Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Robert Gaylor visited and connected with Vandenberg Air Force Base members from around base July 16.

Gaylor spent most of his time engaging with Airmen and emphasizing the individual impact each person can have on the Air Force as a whole.

"My goal is to promote and support the feeling of ownership of the Air Force and the individual's contribution to the mission," Gaylor said. "I think it is very easy for a person to be assigned to a particular function, go there every day, complete that function very effectively and not feel like they are part of the whole."

Gaylor retired as the fifth chief master sergeant of the Air Force in 1979, but continues to be connected to the Air Force and share his career experiences with Airmen.

"I still refer to the Air Force as 'my Air Force' and I am not being selfish,” Gaylor said. “I really feel that I am a part owner of what we know as the Air Force. I started out as a cop and I didn't have that feeling. I was at a base and I guarded things that never moved. I didn't always feel like I was doing something important, but once I realized it was important it made my career easy."

For some of the base leadership it provided an opportunity to see into the mind of an individual, who despite being retired for 36 years, still provides inspiration to the current generation of Airmen.

"Two things amazed me about the chief, first off is his ability to connect with an individual instantly," said Chief Master Sgt. Robert Bedell, the 30th Space Wing command chief. "The other thing is his ability to stay current with what is going on in the world. If this gentleman at 85 years old can stay so connected to his Air Force, as he puts it, then why can't I do the same (for) my Air Force?"

Gaylor took the time to connect on an individual basis with Airmen, listening intently and responding with advice gleaned from years of experience.

"Success in life narrows down to about three words," Gaylor said. "Word one, contribution; are you making a contribution? The second word is impact; is my contribution helping make an impact? And third is visibility; is what I do visible? Do others see and know what I do?"