Highest enlisted Air Force leader speaks at Fort Meade

Renee Hatcher
Office of Strategic Communication and Public Affairs

Skinner, JoAnne Bass and Klink at DISA HQ. 
DISA Director Air Force Lt. Gen. Robert J. Skinner, left, and DISA Senior Enlisted Advisor Chief Master Sgt. David Klink, right, meet with Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass Tuesday, July 6, at DISA Headquarters. Photo by Mike Curry.

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass met Tuesday, July 6, with DISA and JFHQ-DODIN leadership and hosted an all-call with Air Force service members at Fort George G. Meade.

At the all-call, Bass talked about accelerating change in several areas, including physical training, human resources management, leadership development and uniforms.

“There’s not a thing that we’re not looking at, and we’re excited,” she said. “You are probably going to see more change in the next four years than you have in the last 28.”

As the highest enlisted leader of the Air Force, Bass provides direction for the enlisted force and represents its interests at all levels of government and to the American public. She serves as the personal adviser to the chief of staff and the secretary of the Air Force on issues regarding the welfare, readiness, morale, and proper use and progress of more than 600,000 total force airmen. Bass is the 19th chief master sergeant appointed to the highest noncommissioned officer position.

Bass highlighted the importance of understanding where the Department of Defense stands in the information age, the cyber domain and space.

“Our adversaries have been studying us for 30 years and they will come at us any way they can. They won’t fight a fair fight. I need every airman to understand that,” she said.

Bass, who entered the Air Force in 1993, said the amount of time people serve isn’t what matters most to her.

“I don’t care if you serve four, eight, 12 or 20 years,” she said. “The only thing I ask of our airman is that you move the ball forward while you are serving because we have a pacing threat that is moving out fast.”

Bass responded to a variety of in-person and online questions touching on topics such as physical training and suicide.

“People need to care and people need to lead,” she said. “We have to have strong leadership development so that we can grow the leaders we need with all the skills and competencies that we expect of them, including emotional intelligence.”

Bass talked about developing leaders who are well-rounded with people skills.

“I am focused on developing leaders holistically,” she said. “We need to look at talent management a different way. I don’t think it’s bad, but I don’t think it’s optimal. We have some common sense updates to make.”

Bass called out the unique challenge of building resilient airmen, training emotional intelligence earlier and fostering healthier relationships while still teaching how to be a warfighter.

“This is an all-volunteer force that puts their lives on the line. We need to make things simpler and we need to shift our human resources paradigm,” she said.

Before taking a DISA Command Center tour and hearing JFHQ-DODIN briefs, Bass thanked those at the all-call for serving and asked them to thank their families for their sacrifices.

“You don’t have to be here,” she said. “We serve because we want to pass the baton and leave our Air Force better. While you are wearing the uniform, remember the ‘why.’ We have to do our part to defend our homeland, and there is nothing more worthy than wearing our nation’s cloth.”

All call meeting with JoAnn Bass  
Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass takes questions from an Air Force service member during an all-call Tuesday, July 6, at Fort George G. Meade. Photo by Mike Curry.

All Call with Joanne Bass room

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass holds an all-call Tuesday, July 6, with Air Force service members at Fort George G. Meade. Photo by Mike Curry.





Published July 21, 2021