Saturday, February 25, 2012

“Enlisted Perspective” CMSAF James A. Roy, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force

Chief Roy started out by informing the audience that 68% of the current enlisted force joined after 9/11, adding that this is the most combat ardent force that we have ever had. The experiences the airmen of today have had over the past decade are much different than the older airmen have experienced over a 30 year career span. The airmen of today are what Chief Roy calls “digital natives”; they know technology, how it should and the potential it could be used for.

Roy asks if we can use technology to teach and develop our airmen, answering his own question by citing the variety of opportunities for growth that can be benefited by the ever changing advances. Opportunities for airmen to succeed as legislative liaisons, international affairs officers, academics, are just a few areas where airmen can continue to develop their skills and then assist the Air Force by applying their new skills to future missions. 

“We need to make sure we have the best people working on tasks that they are capable of completing efficiently,” Roy said when pointing out that we do not have unlimited capacity. As with most of our speaker sessions, Chief Roy fielded a few questions from the audience. One question lead Roy to discuss STEM disenchantment amongst high school students, which lead him to state the importance of “improving our engagement within local communities, focusing on outreach efforts that inform about STEM”.

Roy concluded by addressing the variety of people who serve in the force, and noted that what motivates one person to serve may not be the same as what motivates someone else. The leadership challenge is the make sure our military leaders key in to each individual motivation to keep each Airman engaged.

Another question highlighted the recent DADT proposition, to which Roy replied that it is a “nonissue” because leadership prepared the military community well in advance of its implementation.

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