Command chief offers words of wisdom

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Mitchell Stippel
  • 56th Fighter Wing command chief
What a welcome to Luke! The professionalism and pride I've witnessed in my first two weeks has been phenomenal.

I've been fortunate to work with great people at all levels over my 23 years in the service. Based on my introduction to Luke, I'm convinced this will be the top of the class. My perspectives have been greatly influenced by my Air Force experience and our great family (active, retired and family members), so I thought I'd share a few of them.


-- You can only lead from the rear if you empower the front.

-- Taking care of people is just as rewarding as working in the trenches; fight for every promotion.

-- Don't ask your Airmen to get in the trench if you don't know what's in it.

-- You can't lead if you don't know where you're going.

-- Feedback should be daily, not only initial and mid-term.

-- Discipline, recognition, feedback and training should be in every supervisor's job description. Commanders and first sergeants aren't replacements for first-line supervisors.


-- Yellow sticky notes stuck on folders aren't staff summary sheets.

-- Spellcheck doesn't help when you spell the wrong word correctly.

-- Completing a checklist doesn't mean just putting your initials down the required number of times. It means doing the required amount of things.

Family matters!

-- The toughest job in the Air Force is the military spouse. They sacrifice careers, care for our families and endure our absences while the military member pursues their goals.

-- The next toughest job is the Air Force child. It's not easy leaving your friends, school and extracurricular activities every few years to start all over again or endure prolonged absences of parents.


-- We owe enormous gratitude to those who went before us. Never has our nation been so grateful to our armed forces, largely due to their sacrifices in making a better military for those who follow.

-- Retirees earned those medical, base exchange, commissary, shoppette and other base privileges.

Today's Airmen

-- Today's newest Airmen are just as great as my generation of Airmen. We throw them into the war sooner and with more frequency than ever. They're earning those stripes quicker.


-- Not wanting to deploy is like practicing every day, but not wanting to get in the game.

In closing

Hopefully this provides a little perspective and causes you to look inward regarding some of those areas. We owe it to the Airmen above, aside and below us to be great leaders, peers and followers in our mission to advance the nation's goals. I look forward to working with all of Team Luke toward this end!