CMSAF discusses leadership, dedication, innovation at AFA

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NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright laid out his philosophy of developing Airmen as leaders during the Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber Conference Sept. 20, 2017.

“We want to take as many things off our Airmen’s plates as possible,” said Wright. “We want to make sure that you have time to train, take care of the mission, each other and your families.”

The Air Force aims to give time back to Airmen with a new Enlisted Professional Military Education for the 21st Century, or “EPME 21.”

“That was a big win – we got a lot of positive feedback and we will continue to work that system and continue to make improvements,” said Wright. “We also would like to work on our enlisted evaluation system.”

Currently, the EES requires Airmen to receive their first evaluation at the 20-month mark. Noting the lack of need for that first evaluation and the amount of time dedicated to it, Wright talked about the plan to work with Air Force Personnel Center to remove the requirement.

Wright also spoke about continuing the reduction of computer-based training, additional duties and taking a look at the number of bullets required for award packages, as well as how many are given.

“They seem like small changes, but we will continue to take these things off your plate so you can focus on what’s important – the mission,” said Wright.

Wright also highlighted some of the enlisted Airmen who broke barriers by earning their wings as remotely piloted aircraft pilots, and the first four chief master sergeants to graduate from Air War College.

Wright then spoke about his role as CMSAF.

“My role is to do exactly what I have been doing since I took office, and that is to listen,” said Wright. “I’m going to continue to squint with my ears; you continue to tell me what we can fix in our Air Force.”

Wright and his team visited several bases across the globe with the intent to give time back to Airmen, identify areas they can improve and find new and innovative ways to create leaders.

Through those visits, he concluded about the role of Airmen and their commitment to the Air Force.

“Your roles are to arm yourself with knowledge, practice virtue and serve the people,” said Wright. “In this Air Force you have two choices; you can be in or you can be out, but there is no in-between.”

Wright finished his speech by highlighting some of the resilient Airmen he’s been introduced to, and others he admires for their leadership, dedication and innovation.