By Airman 1st Class Rose Gudex
21st Space Wing Public Affairs Office
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — “We come in thinking, ‘I’ll just do one term.’ And then your first enlistment is up and you’re just having fun and loving the job, so you re-enlist. Pretty soon 20 years comes and goes and before you know it, you’re a command chief.”
Chief Master Sgt. Idalia Peele, 21st Space Wing command chief, never in a million years expected she would be a command chief after almost 28 years in the Air Force.
“I’m very excited and humbled to have been given this privilege,” Peele said. “As I grew up in my Air Force career, I never really pursued becoming a chief master sergeant, much less a command chief.”
She started her career as a dental assistant, cross-trained into the cyber career field and most recently served as the operations coordinator for the Defense Attaché Office in Spain before assuming her current position.
As a new Airman, she said it is not about necessarily saying you will be a chief master sergeant one day, but rather about focusing on doing your current job to the best of your ability. With time, doors will open.
“I always focused on doing my very best at every job I’ve held throughout my career,” Peele explained. “This helped me gain the trust of my leadership. Opportunities kept presenting themselves and I took advantage of them.”
Becoming the 21st SW command chief was just one more opportunity and challenge, she said. Her past career fields helped because of the leadership skills gained that would be necessary to be a successful command chief and help as many “big ‘A’ Airmen” as possible.
“I feel my most important job is to serve all our personnel and I take this responsibility very seriously,” Peele said. “I owe you the time to listen to your concerns, ideas and challenges — and at the same time to motivate and inspire you to continue to do your very best at accomplishing the mission and growing as a professional Air Force member.”
To accomplish these goals, Peele created a set of priorities to display what is important to her as a leader and ways she believes will help Airmen be the best they can be.
“These are my priorities, what I think is important,” she said. “My priorities are also aligned with those of the wing commander and the priorities of the mission.”
The mindset to do your best every single day is Peele’s first priority — making excellence the standard. She believes everyone should have respect for each other, no matter who you are. Teamwork is another, not just in the mission, but taking care of each other as well. Seizing every opportunity and being ready at all times helps accomplish the mission, so Peele’s final priority is professional readiness.
“As I prepared to take on this position, I thought about what my goals and focus would be and quickly realized that there was no need for change” she stated. “There are great things being done in this wing by great Airmen. I want Airmen to maintain and enhance this level of excellence every day, all around the world, whether on or off duty.”
Additionally, Peele said she wants to focus on some of the current issues the Air Force as a whole is experiencing, such as sexual assault and domestic abuse.
“I have no tolerance for any of it,” she stated. “The Air Force has no tolerance for it.”
It is important for everyone to know they can make an impact even as an individual, Peele said. By getting to know each other, Airmen are more likely to notice when something is wrong and be able to reach out to help one another.
We are all a part of the same team and working towards the same mission. She said if we work hard and take advantage of opportunities, we can effect positive change to become an even better Air Force.
Peele said, “I look forward to getting out, meeting and hearing from each one of you and serving with the entire Team Pete community.”