Commentary by Chief Master Sgt. Randy LaCombe
50th Space Wing command chief master sergeant
Allow me to introduce myself; I am your new Command Chief, Chief Master Sgt. Randy P. LaCombe. First let me say, I am excited to be back at Schriever and what a fantastic opportunity to be the Command Chief of the best wing in Air Force Space Command (Yes, I am biased). I look forward to serving all the men and women of this great base.
I enlisted in the Air Force in 1984 and have held many positions across the Air Force, both in the medical and space operations arenas. Along the way, I married Senior Master Sgt. Mary LaCombe, some of you may know her as the 21st Space Wing Career Assistance advisor. Together we have five children that range in age from 15-23. Of course no family is complete without pets and we have two Labrador retrievers, ages 8-9.
With 25 years of service under my belt, I have developed some principles that I apply to my daily decision making. These principles have formed what I consider to be my leadership philosophy. I will share them with you here to help you understand where I am coming from and what I expect from our Airmen. My philosophy has four key principles and they are: stay ready, meet or exceed standards, everyone is a leader and live by the golden rule. Let’s first look at staying ready.
Most likely you are saying to yourself what does the Chief mean by staying ready. You see I believe in keeping things simple and that as military members you should always prepare yourself for any and all challenges. You are able to achieve anything you set your mind to as long as you prepare properly. One such challenge this wing will soon encounter is an Operational Readiness Inspection. If we exercise and practice each and every day the exact way we would for an ORI then when the inspection team arrives the ORI is going to be no different than our day to day way of doing business. This wing will get the first “Outstanding” rating given to date by the IG as long as we practice and prepare each and every day. I truly believe this is what we as Airmen of the 50th SW should be striving for. Staying ready is vitally important principle for me and meeting or exceeding the standards is equally important.
Standards exist in our great Air Force for many reasons, yet often times we choose to ignore them or simply turn a blind eye to them. As Air Force members we are all required to comply with the established standards and guidelines. I hold all AF members to the standards and am never willing to turn a blind eye and neither should you. All of us went through some sort of “basic training” so we all know how to wear the uniform correctly and we all know the standards for fitness as outlined in AFI 10-248. It is our personal responsibility to meet or exceed these standards. All Airmen are standards “police” not just the senior leaders on this installation. Which leads right into my next principle of everyone is a leader.
Everyone in our AF is a leader. No matter what rank you are, we are all leaders in one way or another. I ask and empower each of you to be leaders here at Schriever AFB. Often times we see things that just aren’t quite right and we say well I am not in a position to make a difference. This couldn’t be further from the truth as you are all leaders and can make a difference here and in the Air Force if you chose to do so. By demonstrating the standards I discussed earlier and enforcing them in others, you are demonstrating your leadership. There are other ways as well. If you see an issue, don’t just complain about it, fix it. How do you do this? Use your chain of command and discuss the issue but bring with you possible solutions. This is part of being a leader. Each of you has it in you to make a difference in this wing and base. My final principle I want to discuss is treating all according to the golden rule.
The golden rule is “treat others as you would want them to treat you.” When I was a young Airman I can vividly remember going to a customer service oriented section on base and being treated rudely. The way I was treated impacted the rest of my day. I found myself talking poorly of that section and ruining my own morale. I wondered to myself is this truly fair to that section and the others that work for that group or squadron… of course not. Customs and courtesies go a long way in our AF. When a senior ranking member enters your duty section the proper thing to do is to stand and address them as sir or ma’am. “Yep,” “nope” and “uh huh” are not proper responses when addressing anyone in our great AF. Be respectful, follow the golden rule and use customs and courtesies and you can never go wrong.
So there you have it, the four leadership principles I live by each and every day. Again, I am extremely honored to be the 50th SW Command Chief. My door is always open and I look forward to serving you.