• Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Israel Nuñez


Citizen Airmen,

In our service, we often stand on the shoulders of giants and continue the great works of those before us. The opportunity to serve as the Air Force Reserve’s top enlisted leader is no different. I am grateful to serve as your command chief and follow in the footsteps of an outstanding trailblazer and mentor, Chief Master Sgt. Timothy White. He has passed me the baton and I promise to continue this enlisted leadership sprint with similar grace and poise as we help grow and advance our most competitive advantage – our Airmen!

To remain competitive today and over the next few years, it is imperative that we organize, train and equip the Reserve Airmen needed to outpace our adversaries. For this reason, I am laying out initial focus areas for our enlisted force. These are echoes from the charge in TASKORD 2022-01 issued by our commander. At the core of these tasks, priorities and actions is an underlying expectation: We will and must be defined by our faithful adherence to standards and orders, our strength of character, respect for others and a lifelong commitment to core values.

Honoring that belief must start with an understanding that we are first and foremost professionals. As outlined in service doctrine, our profession is distinguished from others because we lead with character, live honorably and are willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation.

Whether you are an in-flight refueling specialist transferring fuel from a tanker to an F-16, a finance technician ensuring that Airmen receive timely pay or a port dawg expediting cargo and passengers across the globe, our primary duty is the profession of arms.

When we raise our right hand and repeat the oath, we are agreeing to adhere to a certain set of standards above and beyond most of our fellow citizens. We have an established set of core values that serve as common ground that we shall all stand upon: Integrity First, Service Before Self and Excellence in All We Do. Those values cannot simply be words etched in our memory; they must be our way of life.

On top of solidifying a foundation rooted in good order and discipline, we must set some critical focus areas to guide our enlisted priorities. These are the Four R’s – a Ready Force, a Resilient Force, and Recruit and Retain the Force.

To build a Ready Force, we must reestablish the basics. Every Airman is responsible for their readiness and training to become a lethal and effective warfighter. Each member should strive to become an expert in their Air Force specialty, to be mentally and physically fit, and develop an understanding of our future threats. Remain disciplined and concentrate on the crucial fundamentals needed to face our many threats and challenges.

To develop a Resilient Force, we must ensure that we are developing you deliberately and in a way that leads to long-term personal and professional growth. To do that, we must design a cohesive enlisted force development strategy across the Air Force Reserve. One that guarantees that every Airman is equipped with required skills and abilities, while building and reinforcing the institutional competencies needed at each grade and position.

This includes a hard look at our enlisted talent management and promotion process to ensure Reserve enlisted Airmen are evaluated against a consistent standard, know what it takes to advance and that we get talented enlisted leaders in the right positions at the right time.

To Recruit and Retain the Force, we must drive propensity to serve while removing barriers that are preventing members from fulfilling the vision they had of their service. As Citizen Airmen, we have a golden opportunity to tell our stories within our local communities and combat misperceptions about military service.

To retain our talent, we must communicate better with Airmen and have the conversations needed to identify retention gaps. What are the barriers keeping current members from achieving their service goals? What could we do, or have done, differently to retain the Airmen needed to meet our pacing challenge? I encourage you to let me know:

I am blessed to be your voice to the chief of the Air Force Reserve and commander of Air Force Reserve Command. Serving alongside Lt. Gen. Healy is an honor, and I am committed to advising him on the best courses of action that prioritize constant readiness while balancing the needs of our forces.

As I start this senior enlisted leader journey, I challenge all of us to recommit to our foundational values, be Ready Now and help our great organization Transform for the Future. Remember, you are indeed our greatest weapon system and what keeps our enemies up at night!