Joint Base Charleston, S.C. –
This Exit Interview provides the opportunity to share insight from the 628th Air Base Wing's top Air Force enlisted leader, Chief Master Sgt. Mark Bronson. Chief Bronson, who served at Joint Base Charleston from Jan 2014 to Aug 2016, shares his thoughts on his time as a command chief, his career highlights, the challenges he's faced and what's next for him moving forward as he prepares to PCS:
Why did you join the Air Force?
For many reasons, many of which still draw our Airmen and Sailors in today. I went to College an engineering program but my heart really wasn't into to so I didn't go back my second semester. I wanted to get away from my small town and gain some discipline, marketable skills and college money.
What was your favorite part of serving at Joint Base Charleston?
No doubt, the people. One of my favorite memories was a DV visit by our AMC Command Chief, Chief Frey. Every duty section we visited I was able to point out rock star Airmen and Sailors and brag about the awards they have won or the exceptional work they had done while here. We have some truly amazing military members assigned here.
What are you most proud of since serving in your current position at Command Chief for the 628th Air Base Wing? Being able to help Airmen that have run into road blocks and help them get resolution to items that are concerning to them. Additionally, helping Airmen achieve their goals and watching them grow as not only Airmen but individuals.
What has been your biggest challenge since serving here?
Serving All. It's in our Joint Base motto but, you can't physically be everywhere for everyone. I never wanted to go home at the end of the day knowing I let someone down. Secondly, balancing work and family time is always a challenge for everyone, I am no exception. Additionally, balancing what is best for the Air Force and Airmen. It's great when you can match the best interest of an Air Force members desires and the Air Force needs but sometimes that is not possible. So decisions or advice I sometimes gave didn't always make everyone happy but, I gave that advice on what I felt was in the best interest of the Air Force and unit.
Do you have a favorite career highlight or memory from serving in the Air Force? I've had a great career and been blessed with some big awards and positions. Honestly my favorite memory is when I get a note or call from someone thanking me for helping them get promoted or achieving a certain goal they had. When I was a Senior Airman I had someone who changed my perspective on staying in and restored my faith in the Air Force. He was Staff Sgt. Mike Nero. While he is not the sole reason I am where I am at, he did contribute to my success and continued service. I will speak of SSgt Nero at my retirement someday. He made a huge impact on my career and I hope to have that same impact on others.
What parting words of advice or lessons learned would you leave with the men and women of the 628th Air Base Wing and Joint Base Charleston? Live the core values, work hard every day and have fun! That will lead to success regardless if you stay in and do multiple tours in the military or separate or retire from the military.
What is next for you and your family? We are headed to Colorado Springs to serve as the Command Chief for the Knights of the 21st Space Wing at Peterson AFB. We have been stationed there before and we are looking forward to seeing old friends. Even though we are not originally from Colorado, it feels like we are going home.