Stepping away from swivel chairs

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Russell Kuck
  • 62nd Airlift Wing command chief master sergeant
 As I prepare to retire after more than 29 years of service to the Air Force, I want to leave supervisors with one last piece of advice ... "No good decision was ever made in a swivel chair." 

Now Gen. George Patton may have expressed that sentiment more than 60 years ago, however, it reflects how I was brought into the Air Force and who I am today as a chief master sergeant. 

As I look back, I don't think my first supervisor, Staff Sgt. Henry Pregnal III, ever sat down. He was constantly by my side, mentoring me about my attitude, professionalism and customs and courtesies. He taught me time management, how to prioritize and every aspect of my job. He set me up for success, and for that I will forever be thankful.

My commander and superintendent at time, Lt. Col. Jerome Pauley and Chief Master Sgt. Terry Firman, also took this stance on leadership. It wasn't odd to see them in my work center, checking up on the Airmen, educating themselves on our processes, working environment and challenges. The colonel and I actually arrived on station at the same time, and he made a point to ensure we in-processed together. 

These individuals started me on the right path to supervision; they will never fully know the impact they had on me. To this day I still carry their words and actions with me. 

Remember, those you supervise are a reflection of your leadership. I've never met anyone who credits their military success to someone who led from behind a desk or through a computer. Only your active commitment to those you supervise and dedication to setting the example will stand the test of time and ensure the success of those you're charged with. 

As I look forward to retirement, I leave my hope for peace, happiness and every success in life with you all. I am proud to have served by your side and am forever grateful to the supervisors, leaders, coworkers, friends and family who made me the Airman I am today. Hooah!