MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. --
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein visited with future Air Force leaders and invested time with groups around Air University’s Academic Circle at Maxwell Air Force Base, Feb. 2, 2017.
The 21st CSAF and his wife, Dawn, met with commanders and spouses attending the Wing Commanders Course and the Group Commanders Course at the Ira C. Eaker Center for Professional Development, also returning to Air Command and Staff College, from where Goldfein graduated in 1995.
“When I speak about ‘the commander,’ that includes the spouse, the commander and the senior NCO, because together you are a command team,” Goldfein said to student commanders and spouses at the Eaker Center. “We all want to be well-led. Have a clear vision and create an environment where you can achieve that. Take whatever you are handed and take it to the next level, whatever type of situation you walk in to. Vision and environment is commander business; it’s actually command-team business.”
Goldfein defines a successful command tour, of any level, as having four key elements: mission, culture, family, and fun.
“Each of the four elements, I believe, is a command-team responsibility,” he said. “If you focus on those things, I think you’re set up for a really rewarding experience in a command environment. Don’t confuse success as being about you. It is about your wing, group or squadron. How you set your successor up on your way out will be as much a part of your legacy as anything you do.”
The Goldfeins provided both the perspective of the uniform member and the spouse in their responses to questions from the AU students.
“As a spouse, it is very important to keep a pulse on how other spouses are feeling and relay that information,” Mrs. Goldfein said. “You don’t know the impact you have, even as a spouse. Everyone is always watching, which is a little uncomfortable, but a smile or a hello can go a long way.”
Along with his mentorship opportunity with Eaker Center students, Goldfein met with Air University and Air Force Cyber College leaders. The general then capped off his trip to central Alabama by speaking to the approximately 450 student body at Air Command and Staff College.
Goldfein serves as the senior uniformed Air Force officer responsible for the organization, training and equipping of 660,000 active-duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian forces serving in the United States and overseas. As a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the general and other service chiefs function as military advisers to the Secretary of Defense, National Security Council and the President.