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Meet the new command chief

Chief Master Sgt. Brian Bischoff, the 919th Special Operations Wing command chief.  (Official photo)

Chief Master Sgt. Brian Bischoff, the 919th Special Operations Wing command chief. (Official photo)

DUKE FIELD, Fla. -- Meet the new 919th Special Operations Wing command chief, Chief Master Sgt. Brian Bischoff.  The new chief answered a few questions recently to inform the wing on where he came from and his priorities.

1. What do you see as your top goals and priorities in your new role as command chief?

Building Airmen.  I believe in taking every opportunity to develop, lead, guide, and mentor our Airmen.  To re-ignite the fire they joined the Air Force with, and set them up for new and exciting opportunities.

2.   What do you see as your biggest challenge(s) (or opportunities) here in the early going?

Learning the intricacies of the many jobs we do here.  Our unit is very diverse and brings a tremendous force to the fight.  Learning what we do, and how we do it will help me better represent our airmen and their needs.

3.  What were your thoughts about the 919th SOW when you first began to consider applying for the job here? 

I thought I had ZERO chance at getting this job.  I was told by a good friend of mine Col. Eric Jenkins to apply anyway.  He reminded me that the worst thing that could happen was I didn't get the job.  I agreed, but told him being a Comm/ISR guy who didn't grow up in SOF, I wasn't optimistic.  Once I met Col. (James) Phillips and Chief Master Sgt. (Tom) Mason, and saw what a great place this was, I would have wrestled a grizzly bear to get it.  Having been in Afghanistan working ISR for a year, I have a strong love of support for our deployed forces.  And the missions we have here were integrated into part of what I did there.  

4.   How do you feel your extensive experience/background as an Air Education and Training Command training instructor will help you in your role of mentorship, leadership, etc?

Teaching is a very rewarding experience.  You are taking a foreign concept, relating it to a known concept, and helping someone gain knowledge.  Helping someone grow to their potential is one of the most satisfying things I can think of.  As a good wingman we are charged with helping our fellow members.  We help them learn, we help them grow, we share our knowledge and experiences, and we help them reach their full potential.

5.  Do you have any ideas you're working on for new programs to help our Airmen and their families (especially junior Airmen) succeed in their duties/careers here?

I am taking a look at our quarterly awards program.  I never liked a paper only board because I felt we were only seeing how well a supervisor can write and were depriving Airmen of the growth opportunity of meeting a board.  When you meet a board you get an opportunity to work on your public speaking skills and confidence in a focused situation.  Many times we don't get this opportunity after Airman Leadership School because often it is the only level of PME we get to do in residence.  I have had airmen and NCO's tell me that by meeting the board, or even sitting on a board, they had more confidence in public speaking and 3 of them told me it helped them interview and get jobs because of it.

6.  What impresses you most about the 919th (people, mission, or otherwise)?

The people.  I am honored and humbled to be here serving with such outstanding professionals.  Going around the Wing and talking to the people about their jobs keeps me in awe.  The enthusiasm our people have, the expertise they bring to the missions, and the incredible loyalty they show to their fellow Air Commandos is beyond inspiring. 

7.  What kind of personal strengths do you feel you have that you will bring to the wing as its top enlisted leader?

Well......I make some really good coffee.  Seriously, I have a passion for airmen. I wake up excited about the job and the opportunities of the day.  I want to find new, interesting and different ways to build our airmen.  Giving them opportunities and setting them up for success in meeting their career goals. 

8.  What have been some of your favorite experiences or memories in the Air Force/AF Reserve?

Too many stories come to mind to tell them all here.  I have been fortunate enough to have some great mentors during my career.  My first supervisor Staff Sgt. Dave Garbe who taught me to have two pens on me at all times, one for me, one for him.  He said, that's being a Wingman. And if it isn't in writing it didn't happen, so write it down.  Sgt. (as in buck sgt.) Ron Frechette, who taught me to verify everything by checking the regs and not just guessing.  Capt. Brad Barnhart who taught me what it was to be a servant leader.  He drove to the airport to pick up my mother-in-law in D.C. and bring her to Bethesda just in time to see my son born. Master Sgt. Sean Loftus who taught me the value of education by not only saying I needed to get a bachelor's degree, he signed up with me and we took the degree program together.  And Col. Archie Frye who is one of the most giving human beings I have ever met, and taught me a lot about taking care of airmen.  There are a ton more, but these are a few that stand out.