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CMSAF Wright: Find passion, dream big

CMSAF Wrights visits Sheppard AFB

Airman Brandon Maximovich, an F-15 crew chief apprentice student at the 362nd Training Squadron, talks to Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright Jan. 25, 2018, at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, during the CMSAF's immersion visit to the North Texas base. Wright, who began his career as a dental apprentice student here, visited the Air Force's largest technical training installation to see the diverse career fields that are taught at Sheppard from aircraft maintenance to communications. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alan R. Quevy)

CMSAF Wrights visits Sheppard AFB

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright, center, provides career and life advice to junior Airmen and NCOs during breakfast Jan. 25, 2018, at the Sheppard Club. The CMSAF and his wife, Tonya, are visiting Sheppard Air Force Base to see the diverse and unique technical and pilot training the North Texas base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alan R. Quevy)

CMSAF Wrights visits Sheppard AFB

Airman 1st Class Pedro Tenorio, right, draws a laugh from Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright and others Jan. 25, 2018, during breakfast with Airmen and NCOs at the Sheppard Club. Tenorio, a native of Saipan in the Pacific Ocean, and other Airmen at the breakfast shared a little bit about themselves before the CMSAF gave career and life advice to the junior Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alan R. Quevy)

CMSAF Wrights visits Sheppard AFB

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright, center, chats with two unsuspecting Airmen in Training Jan. 25, 2018, at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. The CMSAF, escorted by 82nd Training Wing Commander Brig. Gen. Ronald E. Jolly Sr. and Chief Master Sgt. Michelle Jackson, 82nd TRW command chief, toured several of Sheppard's schoolhouses to see how the largest technical training prepares Airmen and other Defense Departments members in a diverse number of career fields from aircraft maintenance to communications. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alan R. Quevy)

CMSAF Wrights visits Sheppard AFB

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright watches as Airman 1st Class Daniel Marcoux performs a maintenance task on an F-15 Eagle Jan. 25, 2018, in the 362nd Training Squadron's F-15 crew chief apprentice course at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. The course is just one of many the CMSAF toured during a two-day immersion visit to Sheppard. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alan R. Quevy)

CMSAF Wrights visits Sheppard AFB

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright, standing, visits with Airmen in Training in the 362nd Training Squadron's F-15 crew chief apprentice course at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, on Jan. 25, 2018. The CMSAF toured several facilities and training environment to learn more about the base and its diverse mission as the Air Force's largest technical training installation. Sheppard is also where his career began as a young Airman in the dental apprentice course in 1989. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alan R. Quevy)

CMSAF Wrights visits Sheppard AFB

Tech. Sgt. Ryan Hehl, an instructor supervisor in the 365th Training Squadron's F-22 avionics apprentice course, tells Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright about the trainer used to teach Airmen their craft Jan. 25, 2018. F-22 maintenance training one of many diverse courses taught at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. The CMSAF's visit was part of a two-day immersion tour of the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alan R. Quevy)

CMSAF Wrights visits Sheppard AFB

Tech. Sgt. John Duckworth, F-22 avionics instructor in the 365th Training Squadron, gives Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright an inside look of Sheppard Air Force Base's F-22 maintenance trainer Jan. 25, 2018, during a tour of the facility and other courses. The CMSAF started a two-day immersion tour of the Air Force's largest technical training installation and internationally manned and operated flying training program here. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alan R. Quevy)

CMSAF Wrights visits Sheppard AFB

Tech. Sgt. Jacob Johnson, a 363rd Training Squadron armament instructor at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, talks to Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright about the training Airmen receive on the types of munitions loaders place on the F-22 Raptor in the field. Wright, who began his Air Force career here as a dental assistant apprentice, began a two-day immersion tour at Sheppard to become familiar with the unique and diverse technical and pilot training conducted here. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alan R. Quevy)

CMSAF Wrights visits Sheppard AFB
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Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright talks to 363rd Training Squadron armament apprentice course students Jan. 25, 2018, during a visit to the training facility on Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. The CMSAF began a two-day tour of Sheppard's technical and pilot training operations to learn more about what the base does and visit with military and civilians. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alan R. Quevy)

CMSAF Wrights visits Sheppard AFB
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Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright talks to 363rd Training Squadron armament apprentice Airmen in Training Jan. 25, 2018, at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. The CMSAF visited several schoolhouses that make up the 82nd Training Wing technical training mission, providing insight to the diverse career fields taught at the Air Force's largest technical training installation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alan R. Quevy)

CMSAF Wrights visits Sheppard AFB
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Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth Wright talks to Airmen Jan. 25, 2018, during a meet and greet breakfast at the Sheppard Club on Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. The CMSAF, visiting the North Texas base for a two-day immersion tour, provided professional and life advice to help guide the Airmen as they continue their Air Force careers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alan R. Quevy)

CMSAF Wrights visits Sheppard AFB
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Ronald Panhorst (left), instructor supervisor at the 365th Training Squadron, explains to Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright the capabilities of the MQ-9 Reaper's Multi-Spectral Targeting System sensor pod that is positions under the nose of the remotely piloted aircraft used in operations around the world. The 365th TRS was just one of many stops the CMSAF made during the first day of his two-day immersion visit to Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. Sheppard is home to the most diverse technical training installation and the only internationally manned and operated pilot training program, the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training program (U.S. Air Force photo by Alan R. Quevy)

CMSAF Wrights visits Sheppard AFB
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Army Capt. Christopher Gibbs, center, greets Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright Jan. 25, 2018, at Sheppard Air Force Base's Inter-Service Training Organization as part of the CMSAF's two-day immersion visit to the base. While the ITRO is home to joint training for Air Force Airmen and Army Soldiers in specific career fields at Sheppard, the 82nd Training Wing also conducts joint training for the Navy and Marines. Also pictured include (front) Navy Lt. Leonardo Calderon and (back) Marine Gunnery Sgt. John McCrandall. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alan R. Quevy)

CMSAF Wrights visits Sheppard AFB
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Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright makes his way down an aisles at the Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, base theater Jan. 25, 2018, during an "all call" assembly. The CMSAF addressed issues that affect the lives of Airmen daily and also heard questions and concerns from some of those in attendance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alan R. Quevy)

CMSAF Wrights visits Sheppard AFB
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Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright addresses Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, personnel Jan. 25, 2018, at the base theater, touching on topics ranging from the effects of Congressional continuing resolutions on the military to everyday being Wingman's Day. The CMSAF also spoke about the need to continue to work on resiliency to help Airmen overcome challenges and obstacles they face in a dangerous and high-tempo environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alan R. Quevy)

CMSAF Wrights visits Sheppard AFB
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Staff Sgt. Randy Slaba, an Airman Leadership School instructor at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, asks Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright a question during a question-answer session at an "all call" assembly Jan. 25, 2018. The CMSAF, who was visiting Sheppard as part of an immersion visit to the Air Force's largest technical training installation, first spoke on a variety of topics affecting Airmen daily before hearing concerns and fielding questions from those in the audience. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alan R. Quevy)

CMSAF Wrights visits Sheppard AFB
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Airmen Brandon Sabatini (center) and Ian Goff, propulsion Airmen in Training at the 361st Training Squadron at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, show Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright technical orders, or instructions, on specific maintenance tasks to be performed on a C-130 ground instructional training aircraft Jan. 25, 2018. The CMSAF visited the schoolhouse during an immersion visit to the base and introduced him to the various training missions the base performs daily. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alan R. Quevy)

CMSAF Wrights visits Sheppard AFB
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Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright, center, talks with some first sergeants at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 26, 2018, during breakfast at the Sagebrush Dining Facility to kick off his second day of a two-day immersion visit to the base. First sergeants play an integral role in the development of Airmen by being attuned to the morale, welfare and conduct of enlisted Airmen in their squadron. They also serve as an advisor to the commander in matters concerning enlisted personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alan R. Quevy)

CMSAF Wrights visits Sheppard AFB
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Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright speaks to enlisted Airmen attending the NCO Academy at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 26, 2018, about topics such as the Air Force enterprise, enlisted development and education. The CMSAF, who is touring the base to learn about Sheppard's diverse training mission, also spoke about the importance of being well trained, well led and resilient. (Alan R. Quevy)

CMSAF Wrights visits Sheppard AFB
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Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright meets with Col. Andrea Themely, 80th Flying Training Wing commander, and other leaders from the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training program during an immersion at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 26, 2018. The CMSAF toured the wing’s facilities to meet with the enlisted Airmen responsible for helping generate more than 200 training sorties a day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alan R. Quevy)

CMSAF Wrights visits Sheppard AFB
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Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright meets with personnel from the Italian air force and other NATO partners during his visit to the 80th Flying Training Wing at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 26, 2018. Home of the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training program, the 80th FTW is made up of representatives from 14 NATO countries and is the only internationally manned and managed flying training program in the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alan R. Quevy)

CMSAF Wrights visits Sheppard AFB
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Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright talks with Airman 1st Class Christopher Jackson, 80th Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician, as he demonstrates some of the daily tasks he performs to ensure pilots are geared with properly functioning equipment before they fly at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. The CMSAF met with some of the enlisted Airmen responsible for helping generate more than 200 training sorties a day during his immersion tour Jan. 25-26, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alan R. Quevy)

CMSAF Wrights visits Sheppard AFB
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Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright fist bumps Airman Tela Combs of the 80th Operations Group while he explains some of the processes involved in keeping student pilots and their instructors safe while flying at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. The visit was part of the CMSAF’s Sheppard immersion Jan. 25-26, 2018, where Airmen across the base demonstrated the various missions they perform. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alan R. Quevy)

CMSAF Wrights visits Sheppard AFB
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Master Sgt. Marcus Levias of the 80th Operations Support Squadron explains to Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright the importance of his team’s role during an immersion at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 26, 2018. The 80th OSS provides critical support to Sheppard’s flying operations as they generate more than 200 training sorties a day, making it the busiest joint-use airfield in the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alan R. Quevy)

CMSAF Wrights visits Sheppard AFB
Airman Brandon Maximovich, an F-15 crew chief apprentice student at the 362nd Training Squadron, talks to Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright Jan. 25, 2018, at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, during the CMSAF's immersion visit to the North Texas base. Wright, who began his career as a dental apprentice student here, visited the Air Force's largest technical training installation to see the diverse career fields that are taught at Sheppard from aircraft maintenance to communications. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alan R. Quevy)
CMSAF Wrights visits Sheppard AFB
CMSAF Wright visits Sheppard AFB
Airman Brandon Maximovich, an F-15 crew chief apprentice student at the 362nd Training Squadron, talks to Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright Jan. 25, 2018, at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, during the CMSAF's immersion visit to the North Texas base. Wright, who began his career as a dental apprentice student here, visited the Air Force's largest technical training installation to see the diverse career fields that are taught at Sheppard from aircraft maintenance to communications. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alan R. Quevy)
SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – “The Alchemist,” a novel written by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho, tells the story of a young shepherd boy who, by a prophetic dream, believes that he is to one day discover a treasure at the Egyptian pyramids.

During the story, a king introduces the concept of people having a “personal legend,” or their purpose in life and what they are intended to do.

“Everyone, when they are young, knows what their Personal Legend is,” the king said, later adding that once a person finds their purpose, “all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright, who visited Sheppard Air Force Base Jan. 25-26 to be immersed in the diverse training operations at the 82nd Training Wing and 80th Flying Training Wing at Sheppard Air Force Base, said he agrees with Coelho’s philosophy. He said when he has the opportunity to talk with young Airmen, he’ll often take the opportunity to ask them what they want out of their Air Force career.

“The sooner they can figure that out, the easier it is for me, their supervisor, their mentors to put them on the right path much earlier. Most of us decide late in our lives and careers that, ‘Okay, I’ve finally decided what I want to do when I grow up,” he said. “So, think through and be deliberate about your dreams is what I would tell them.”

The CMSAF also said he encourages young Airmen to dream big in their careers, whether than means becoming the chief master sergeant of the Air Force, an astronaut, the president of the United States or the next tech genius.

Although he reached the pinnacle of the enlisted rank, Wright intimated that when he and others entered the Air Force years ago, they didn’t have clear goals or dreams. That why it’s important to him to embolden Airmen to find their passion and pursue it.

CMSAF Wrights visits Sheppard AFB
Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright talks with Airman 1st Class Christopher Jackson, 80th Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician, as he demonstrates some of the daily tasks he performs to ensure pilots are geared with properly functioning equipment before they fly at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. The CMSAF met with some of the enlisted Airmen responsible for helping generate more than 200 training sorties a day during his immersion tour Jan. 25-26, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alan R. Quevy)
CMSAF Wrights visits Sheppard AFB
CMSAF Wright visits Sheppard AFB
Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright talks with Airman 1st Class Christopher Jackson, 80th Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician, as he demonstrates some of the daily tasks he performs to ensure pilots are geared with properly functioning equipment before they fly at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. The CMSAF met with some of the enlisted Airmen responsible for helping generate more than 200 training sorties a day during his immersion tour Jan. 25-26, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alan R. Quevy)
Helping them achieve those goals is what leadership is all about, he said. When many Airmen enter the Air Force, they are 18 or 19 years old. Wright said they need leadership to guide them through some shapeable years of their lives.

In basic training, guidance is built in because Airmen are told what to do and when to do it. Those restraints are loosened some once arriving at technical training. That makes the military training leader corps is extremely important to helping Airmen succeed.

“You need those military training leaders to be available for mentorship, for guidance, to help continue to mold them, to help them with the challenges that they’ll have still working their way through adolescence, trying to figure out how to be an Airman, trying to figure out how to learn their tech school, and trying to figure out how to date and all those things that come with being a young person,” he said. “Having some leadership available is pretty critical.”

The CMSAF has seen Sheppard at work throughout the Air Force as he travels from base to base seeing crew chiefs launch aircraft, communications Airmen set up telephone systems and linemen climbing utility poles. He said when he sees those specialties Sheppard is delivering to the field, he sees the highest quality Airmen.

One impressionable moment for Wright was seeing the 82nd TRW’s motto: “Combat Capability Starts Here.” He sees that axiom come to fruition in the operational Air Force.

That challenge, he said, is the leadership aspect for Airmen when they reach their first duty assignment and, perhaps, throughout their careers. Well-trained Airmen can be produced at Sheppard and other training bases, but they will still need a good supervisor to guide them.

CMSAF Wrights visits Sheppard AFB
Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright speaks to enlisted Airmen attending the NCO Academy at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 26, 2018, about topics such as the Air Force enterprise, enlisted development and education. The CMSAF, who is touring the base to learn about Sheppard's diverse training mission, also spoke about the importance of being well trained, well led and resilient. (Alan R. Quevy)
CMSAF Wrights visits Sheppard AFB
CMSAF Wright visits Sheppard AFB
Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright speaks to enlisted Airmen attending the NCO Academy at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 26, 2018, about topics such as the Air Force enterprise, enlisted development and education. The CMSAF, who is touring the base to learn about Sheppard's diverse training mission, also spoke about the importance of being well trained, well led and resilient. (Alan R. Quevy)
“I think when you have good supervision and you have someone who helps you, guides you and mentors you … those Airmen have a much better chance of being successful,” he said.

When it comes to restoring readiness — a priority for Air Force leadership — that also means an increase in manning, which is recognized as one of the largest readiness issues that hinders the service from doing some of the required tasks. Sheppard, Wright said, plays a big role in process.

“This base is critically important to making sure that our Airmen get that first level of training that they need in their Air Force specialties so they can go out into the operational Air Force and contribute and continue to learn and grow in the jobs that we train them in,” he said.

Retaining Airmen is also a concern Air Force leadership is working to hopefully curb as some Airmen are choosing to get out of the service rather than continue. Wright said it’s not necessarily a work or job issue, rather it’s one that revolves around culture, climate and how they feel in regards to how their units support them and their families.

Wright said most Airmen enjoy the training, working and deployments aspects of their service to the country.

“What they don’t enjoy is when we don’t hold up the end of our bargain as leaders,” he said. “So, we have to do a better job of not just here at Sheppard giving them the right training they need to go out into the field. We have to do a better job at corporately training leaders better so they have the skills and tools to take care of these Airmen once we train them here at Sheppard and get them out into the Air Force.”

In addition to seeing the training mission at Sheppard, Wright was also the keynote speaker at the 82nd TRS Annual Award Banquet Jan. 26.