To Airman Zator

  • Published
  • By Command Chief Master Sgt. Brian Zator
  • 911th Airlift Wing

To Airman Basic Zator,

Breathe… you are now part of something greater than imagined. Forever linked to others across this great Nation of ours and to a proud heritage that you will learn about. Keep structured and disciplined in your learning process and remember to just breathe and take it all in.

To Airman Zator,

Continue learning your Air Force specialty code and doing what you are told when you’re told to do it (TQM is years away…). Learn from the mistakes that you will make. You will make them, figure out or ask what wasn’t done correctly and do your best not to repeat it! How are your Career Development Courses coming along?

To Airman 1st Class Zator,

It’s been a year already! Is she [the Air Force] everything you thought she was? Now that your mandatory studies are completed, what’s your next goal? Professional military education or Wing involvement; there is more than the dormitory life out there… go explore the Great Northwest! Take hops to go see other locations, take up skiing or join the Aero Club!

To Senior Airman Zator,

You seem to be understanding how your job fits into the greater good of the mission(s). You are getting close to reaching NCO status; is everything in order? Remember that the best person to manage your career is YOU! Start thinking beyond your AFSC or even maybe entertain cross-training. Re-enlistment or separation will be here before you know it.

To Staff Sgt. Zator,

What happened to the “buck” Sergeant advice… don’t worry about that, the Air Force did away with the E-4/Sergeant rank. By the way, congrats on making Staff Sergeant. I wasn’t sure that you were going to hang around long enough for it but you did… so now what? The transition to the Air Force Reserve seemed to go well. More than ‘weekend warriors’ aren’t they… you haven’t seen anything yet so get ready for it (and purchase stock in Google and Facebook while you’re at it). Welcome to the NCO Corps! Start working on that 7-Skill Level and completing your CCAF degree. And take a look around at ways to improve your leadership and management skills; you’ll need to.

To Technical Sgt. Zator,

A transition period for you; welcome to the Air Reserve Technician world and your new AFSC. Breadth of experience will serve you well. Just like a few years back, it’s time to complete your new CDC’s and PME… and get to work on that Community College of the Air Force degree! The face and pace of the Reserve program is about to change dramatically due to Desert Storm. Do you have everything prepared? If not, start.

To Master Sgt. Zator,

Welcome to the Senior NCO Corps, the Top Three! Didn’t you just make Staff Sergeant a few years ago? You must be listening to the advice I’ve been giving.  It appears that you enjoy this Reserve gig and plan on sticking it out for a while. Keep your options open for potential moves that could benefit both you and the Reserve program. Nothing like cross-training again and going back to technical school as a Master Sergeant; no mandatory PT for you but that will be coming later on… Continue learning to be the best leader you can be. Others are watching!

To Senior Master Sgt. Zator,

See, tech school wasn’t that bad. It was still awkward waiting to be told to sit down in the classroom, but you are quietly setting the example for those other pipeline students who are still trying to figure it all out… don’t you look like the smart one. Always remember that others are watching your actions and listening to your words as you could be the difference maker for them. You’ve got three AFSCs and two CCAF degrees (thanks for finally completing them, I was starting to give up). So now what? Any thoughts on how you are going to make a positive impact at the Wing or Major Command level? If not, start thinking because they will be calling! Chief Master Sergeant is within your grasp, so what are you going to do to separate yourself from the others?

To Chief Master Sgt. Zator,

You did it! Congrats on making Chief! Your hard work, knowledge and dedication has been noticed and amply rewarded. Are you going to be a Chief or an E-9? The choice is yours. I would recommend being a “Chief.” Invest your time in efforts to support the Wing and its mission sets. They will need your sound advice and guidance through some challenging times.

To Command Chief Master Sgt. Zator,

Don’t rest now! If the highlight of your career is that you made Command Chief; you’ve failed! Get out there. You have an entire Wing watching and waiting for your next recommendation or action. Just as AB Zator had to do; stay focused on your structure and discipline, this will help you take the Wing to new heights. And while you are at it, listen to Chief Henderson and go back to school to get your bachelor’s degree; you will be blown away at the impact your example with have! Dude seriously, you may think you know but you truly don’t. It’s time to pass the torch and put the uniform away. You did well, kid!

And to Retiree Brian Zator,

Enjoy the ride! You have every right to hold your head up high! Retiring at 33 years and 8 days as a Command Chief; who would have imagined that back in September 1983 or even in BMT back in July 1984. So go and enjoy your weekends with your family; they’ve been waiting for this day and time also. Just think you might get to watch your son crush a fastball over the 350’ feet or pitch five innings of no-hit ball. Your Air Force is in good hands. She always has been and will continue to be but remember that you can still have an impact on those around you. They’re still watching you! Time to learn something new… go get that private pilot’s license. Or go see if Journey, Billy Idol or Vanilla Ice need new tour managers; remember that Chief Master Sgt. Yost will be retiring soon, you could be his Pro Bowlers Association tour manager!