September 30, 2019

Chief Wright, Superstar

by Brian W. Everstine

Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright wants airmen to have a plan. It should be specific and ambitious.

In his meetings with airmen, from one-stripers to senior noncommissioned officers, Wright asks airmen what they want from life, from their families, from their careers. Most in the room share generic answers: Be the best they can be. Be a good father. Make a difference. 

Wright wants more. 

“You are good people,” he told a gathering of noncommissioned officers at Tinker AFB, Okla., recently. “But you are crappy dreamers.” Welcome to the Chief Wright show. The popular CMSAF fills auditoriums regularly and attracts crowds of followers to line up afterward for pictures, like a rock star in combat utilities.

Achieving one’s dreams means being specific, Wright says. Determine your goal and write it down. Early in his career, Wright decided he wanted to be Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force. About 29 years later, he got the opportunity. Now, with about a year left in his four-year tenure, Wright says he still has one big goal to achieve: overhaul the enlisted evaluation system before he “drops the mic” and heads into retirement.