Command Chief proud to be an Iceman, embraces future challenges

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Yash Rojas
  • 354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
For two years Chief Master Sgt. Jerry Moore has served as the 354th Fighter Wing command chief. He now prepares for his next assignment at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson as the 11th Air Force command chief.

Recently, he shared his experiences at Eielson Air Force Base, crediting them with helping him become a better leader.

Challenges faced while serving have transformed him into a more knowledgeable chief -- one with a better appreciation for the men and women from each of the groups and squadrons who get the mission off the ground.

Moore said he thought highly of Eielson's enlisted force as well as the officers in today's Air Force, recognizing their potential as leaders, coaches, mentors and managers.

"Whatever the position, whether you are serving as a squadron chief, group superintendent or command chief, you are really there to advocate on behalf of the enlisted force of course," said Moore. "And to assist in any way possible, helping the Wing accomplish its mission. As long as I knew I was committed to those things, I had a really good chance of being successful."

Upon arriving at Eielson, Moore kept an open mind. Although the skills attained working many years within the security forces career field may have helped him reach Eielson, he was careful to utilize leadership opportunities to improve or learn something new about other Airmen.

"For us as defenders, we can become myopic and just worry about [ourselves] and not be able to appreciate the other parts of the Air Force team," he said. "Serving in this capacity has allowed me to step up out of that world and appreciate what everyone else does."

He was part of a senior team of leaders who he admired and together worked diligently to demonstrate the very best of Eielson's capabilities. He appreciated working with senior leadership, especially Brig. Gen. James Post, 354th Fighter Wing commander, who shares his commitment to the Air Force and its Airmen.

"[I] appreciated his leadership and his style [knowing] instantly that he and I possessed some of the same leadership traits," said Moore. "We are really direct communicators, so I knew that in and of itself was a recipe for success."

Moore accomplished a great deal for the Iceman Team, especially the junior Airmen. Like Post, he also was dedicated to their cause, taking extra care to develop them, understanding their importance.

"We are committed to our Air Force," he said. "We love this Air Force. We love serving and the mission in the interior of Alaska and I don't know how excited I was to serve in the interior of Alaska, but getting here, appreciating the base, appreciating the people, it was awesome for us."

One very important thing for Moore was the connection with the community. The relationship with his family, the community, and its leaders and the experience of hosting so many prominent figures around the Air Force gave him a real sense of belonging.

"My wife and kids, we love the sense of community," Moore said. "We love the small-town nature of it. We spent a lot of time as a family together and I don't know if we would have been able to do that at any other base, especially now that my kids are teenagers and just a couple steps from college. We did things that we ordinarily [may not have done] like sit down at the table every night to have dinner and talk, and play board games. These are things we will cherish [for] a lifetime because it was a unique experience [of] Alaska for us."

If Airmen want to enjoy their duty station and their military career, they must learn to pick out key things to make each tour worthwhile thereby giving their service meaning, he added.

According to Moore, each new leadership role presents challenges and in the face of adversity leaders must stand out. His time serving here has been an honor and a privilege getting to see the outstanding Airmen overcome obstacles to achieve their goals.

"What I would hope [for is] that today I am a better command chief than I was when I walked through the door," said Moore.