News>CMSAF Gaylor visits Spangdahlem, speaks at ball
SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – Robert Gaylor, fifth Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force, speaks with Airmen from the 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron during his visit here Sept. 10. Chief Gaylor will be the guest speaker at Spangdahlem’s 2010 Air Force Ball, which is themed “Remembering our heritage and embracing our future.” (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Benjamin Wilson)
SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – Robert D. Gaylor, fifth Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force, speaks during the 2010 Air Force Ball Sept. 10. Chief Gaylor’s speech addressed what he considers the four biggest differences between today’s Air Force and the Air Force of his day: training, technology, tribe (family) and trust. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Benjamin Wilson)
SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – Col. Christopher Weggeman, left, 52nd Fighter Wing commander; Robert D. Gaylor, center, fifth Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force; and Airman Jonathan Atstupenas cut the cake using a saber during the 2010 Air Force Ball Sept. 10. The event celebrated the Air Force’s 63 years as an independent service. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Benjamin Wilson)
SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – Col. Christopher Weggeman, right, 52nd Fighter Wing commander, presents Robert D. Gaylor, fifth Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force, a check for $100 donated to the Wounded Warrior Fund in his name during the 2010 Air Force Ball Sept. 10. Chief Gaylor was the keynote speaker during the event, themed, “Remembering our heritage and embracing our future.” (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Benjamin Wilson)
by Senior Airman Clay Murray
52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
9/17/2010 - SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- Retired Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Robert Gaylor, the fifth to hold the highest enlisted rank in the Air Force, visited Spangdahlem Air Base Sept. 9 and 10.
While on the base, Chief Gaylor visited several organizations including civil engineers, logistics readiness and equipment maintenance and spoke with Airmen at each stop. One of the highlights for the Chief was the Pitsenbarger Airman Leadership School.
"Whenever I visit any Airman Leadership School, the first thing I remember is when we did not have it," Chief Gaylor said. "Every time I walk in I am so pleased to see that we now provide preparation for those moving into enlisted leader positions. The class at the PALS was enthusiastic and motivated - they pumped me up. I want to stay longer than I'm allowed - time is always my enemy. We had some good interaction, and they had some good questions. I enjoyed every moment of it."
Months before his visit, Chief Gaylor spoke with Master Sgt. Michael Lemond, 52nd Force Support Squadron ALS commandant, about donating Air Force memorabilia to the heritage room and Chief Gaylor happily obliged. When he stepped into the room, however, he practically walked right into himself.
"I'm very pleased what they did there, and I brought them a couple of items to add to the heritage room," the Chief said. "When I walked in it took my breath away - there was the uniform that I wore in 1977, '8 and '9 on a manikin with my name and my ribbons on it. That's breathtaking. The enlisted heritage of the Air Force is spectacular, but we haven't always grasped it. We're doing that now, and I was very honored."
While at the PALS, Chief Gaylor spent time with Airmen during lunch where he gave tips, shared his views and experiences and answered questions for the rising enlisted leaders.
"I want our Airmen of today to appreciate and realize that it wasn't always like it is now," he said. "You can't get from point A to B unless you do it appropriately and gradually. To me, heritage is more than a uniform. It's to talk about Airmen John Levitow and Bill Pitsenbarger and how they performed their duties. To me that's the greatness of the Air Force. We need to appreciate and capture the heritage both in the enlisted and the officer corps."
Senior Airman Nathaniel Rudd, PALS student, spent some time with Chief Gaylor, and found his tips and stories valuable.
"He has a wealth of knowledge - he was [enlisted] 31 years," Airman Rudd said. "It was great to hear about his experiences and what he thinks of the stuff that has changed since he was in and how things are now."
During his visit to the base in rural Western Germany, Chief Gaylor also spent an evening with the Airmen of Spangdahlem. As the speaker at the 63rd Air Force Ball, he gave a speech aimed at what he calls 'the four Ts.'
"Last night I spoke at the 63rd birthday celebration ball at Spangdahlem and what a great evening it was - filled with excitement," Chief Gaylor said. "I talked about the four Ts - training, technology, tribe - meaning family - and trust. In each of those areas we've made tremendous strides. I like what I see in the Air Force today."
Toward the end of his visit to Spangdahlem AB, Chief Gaylor sat down for an interview with the local Armed Forces Network, and thought how it would be if he were still in the Air Force today.
"I was a cop, I loved going to work and I loved doing my job, and that's what I'm seeing that makes me so proud of the force today," the chief said. "It's an Air Force I would like to be a more active part of, but I've had my day and now it's their turn."