As the new command chief master sergeant of Air Force Materiel Command, Warner offered the same advice to others.
“Do everything you can to make yourself the best Airman you can be,” he said. “If you’re offered an opportunity to get any kind of education or training, do it. If you’re offered an opportunity to lead, do it. Take advantage of every opportunity that our great service provides you – and they’re numerous.
“Once you seize an opportunity, bloom,” he continued. “Instead of worrying about what comes next, say, ‘I’m going to be the best at what I’m doing today.’ That attitude will get noticed and bring about more opportunities.”
Warner’s advice has worked well for him so far. He spent nine years as a first sergeant, followed by a stint as an NCO Academy commandant, before becoming a command chief in 2006.
Now that he’s at AFMC, Warner is looking forward to helping the command’s enlisted force move forward into the five-center construct.
“AFMC is at a change point,” he said. “So my number one goal is to help [AFMC Commander] General Wolfenbarger – as her enlisted lead – move the command successfully into the future. As with any change, there are bound to be obstacles, so I want to help the command work through them.”
Regardless of what those obstacles might be, Warner thinks the best way to navigate them is by continuing to make the enlisted force more disciplined, better trained and educated, and more professional.
“On a daily basis, my job is to take care of Airmen, to help leaders take care of them and to get the mission done,” Warner said. “Certainly discipline is the core foundation of our Air Force, and my focus is on the front-line level. It’s about making our NCOs the best they can be because they have such a huge impact on our people and on getting the mission done. They’re taking care of our most valuable resource – which is our young Airmen – so I want to do all I can to make them more effective.”
For that reason, Warner plans to keep pressing the agendas put in place by his predecessor, Chief Master Sgt. Eric Jaren, including Hold the Line, Year of the Community College of the Air Force and Year of Continuing Education. Warner’s efforts will extend beyond training and education, though, to keep preparing the enlisted force to be the most professional force they can be.
“To me, ‘professional’ means many different things,” he said. “It goes beyond knowing your job. It’s living the core values; it’s thinking about our teammates; it’s making sure we’re fit to fight. At the end of the day, our job is to be warriors. To do that, we have to be professional, dedicated and driven.
“What the Airmen in AFMC bring to the fight is enormous,” Warner continued. “I’m excited to help them any way I can.”