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NEWS | Sept. 28, 2016

Senior AF leader gives Army joint perspective

By Airman 1st Class Derek Seifert 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The diamond council at Fort Eustis, Virginia invited an U.S. Air Force senior leader to talk to U.S. Army first sergeants during a quarterly meeting Sept. 23, 2016.

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Jack Johnson Jr., NATO Allied Command Transformation senior enlisted leader, has served in many positions throughout his career, to include first sergeant and command chief master sergeant, which has provided an extensive amount of leadership opportunities and experiences that he shared with the diamond council.

“It doesn’t matter your rank, your skin tone or gender, none of that matters. What’s important is to understand that everyone matters,” said Johnson. “When I started, I said ‘thank you because you’re all important’. America’s mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and many others may not understand what you do to support this nation, but I’m here to tell you that they count on you every day.”

Johnson has served in joint capacities throughout his career as chief of conventional mission management at Joint Operations Directorate and superintendent of the 31st Intelligence Squadron, giving him the experience to be able to relate to leaders and the challenges they face with troops in a joint environment.

 “I talked to senior NCO’s and said we are all leaders and your job is to educate, organize training, equip and send your troops off to fight,” said Johnson. “Then I challenged them and asked, ‘Are you smart enough to know why you’re sending them off to potentially die?’ As leaders we have to be able to explain the why.”

For Johnson, working with other branches of the U.S. military brings alternative perspectives, experiences and knowledge.

“Everyone grows from listening to different perspectives. The world is so dynamic and diverse that as leaders, every perspective we can get counts,” said Johnson.  “That’s what [the diamond council] is about. I’ve had the privilege of serving across the nation and taking my experiences of challenges to educate the leaders who came today to have an open dialogue, which gives everyone the opportunity to grow.”

For U.S. Army Master Sgt. Ryan Reichard, C Company 1-222nd Aviation Regiment first sergeant, talking to leaders from other services is beneficial for the future of the Army and his Soldiers.

“Gaining information coming from different branches on how they work allows us to take that information and the knowledge, and pass it down to the younger generation who will eventually replace us,” said Reichard.

According to Johnson, coming together and learning from each other can only make the U.S. military stronger.

“At the end of the day, we are all Americans regardless of service,” said Johnson. “Coming together with the Ft. Eustis diamond council allows us to learn from one another because not only do we learn from each other, we train together. And, if the nations calls upon us, we all fight together.”