JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. —
Shipmates, as with most great things in life, my time here at Joint Base Charleston has drawn to an end. I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to serve as your Joint Base Command Master Chief and I truly hope that I am leaving the base a little bit better than when I came aboard two years ago.
During the beginning of my tour, one lesson that took me a few months to learn was changing my thinking that the Navy did everything the best. Early on, this bullheaded approach prevented me from being able to serve the entire Joint Base family. I regret and apologize for not being an effective leader those first few months. If I had the opportunity to try again, it would be different. I ask that we all take a moment and put aside our service-based biases and truly look at the way someone else does things. I guarantee you will find something that another service does a little better.
Every Joint Base Charleston Airman, Sailor, Soldier, Marine, Coast Guardsman and civilian has made me and my family feel welcome. Don’t underestimate the power of making someone feel welcome and part of your team. You have all made this base the envy of all other joint bases and the standard they all strive to achieve. Every day, I watch in complete awe as our 628th Air Base Wing Airmen and embedded Naval Support Activity Sailors work seamlessly to provide outstanding installation support to our 67 mission partners and the 90,000 service members, families and retirees in the local area that depend on us. Thank you.
We are the most lethal military the world has ever seen and I truly believe it is because we serve for something more than personal reasons. We serve for those on our left and on our right, and I want to thank everyone who has made the effort to treat others as family. I can’t find the right words to express how much that truly means to me. So when there is a personality conflict, please take a breath, take a quick second to view the argument from the other person’s perspective, and most importantly, practice a little forgiveness. Forgiveness does not equal weakness, it IS strength. If there is no way to resolve the argument or conflict, do your best to put it behind you and find other ways to work together. There is nothing good that will ever come from holding a grudge, especially if it hurts or could hurt those you lead.
Please take care of yourselves. If you need help, ask for it. A lot of people have heard me say (and laugh at me), “There is no shame in the brain game.” I know it sounds corny, but I mean it. I needed help and I asked for it and honestly, I wish I hadn’t waited so long to do it. Whether you just need to vent, someone to talk to, counselling, or even medicine … DO NOT WAIT. DO IT! Reach out. Help is there, patiently waiting, and there isn’t a single person that really matters to you in your life that will look down on you for getting help.
As my time is up here at Joint Base Charleston, I want thank all of you that have made it extraordinary. In just over two years, I have learned so much about things I would have never experienced had I never taken the leap. Together, we have set the highest bar for joint basing and I am beyond proud of each person aboard Joint Base Charleston that makes it happen. I will be watching from my next duty stations as you continue to break down barriers and make history as the finest joint base in the history of joint basing. My successor, Command Master Chief Jon Lonsdale, is very excited and looking forward to joining the Lowcountry military team and helping you continue to serve as a highly effective joint force. Please welcome him to the team and take good care of him just as you did me.
Thank you, Joint Base Charleston.