Commentary

February 1, 2013

5th CMSAF shares wisdom, humor

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Senior Airman KATE VAUGHN

Retired Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Robert Gaylor, fifth CMSAF, speaks with Luke Airmen during an enlisted call Jan. 25 at the Luke Air Force Base Theater. Gaylor shared with Airmen his four steps to success that included training, technology, tribe and trust.

Retired Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Robert Gaylor, fifth CMSAF, addressed a group of Airmen during an enlisted call Jan. 25 at Luke Air Force Base.

Gaylor was selected as the CMSAF in 1977 and is currently the oldest living CMSAF. During his 30 years of service in the Air Force, he worked in the security forces career field, taught at the senior NCO academy and established the U.S. Air Forces in Europe Command management and leadership center.

He paid the Airmen of Luke a visit Jan. 25 before attending the 56th Fighter Wing 2012 Annual Awards Banquet Saturday where he was the keynote speaker.

Gaylor shared a plethora of wisdom, advice and humor with Airmen from across base. Among the things he shared were his four steps to success — training, technology, tribe (his word for family), and trust.

“These four steps,” Gaylor said, “coupled with a good foundation of common sense are what make successful Airmen and a successful Air Force.”

Gaylor recounted some of his experiences during his time in the service and was sure to sprinkle every bit of advice with a dose of laughter.

One story featured Gaylor’s rather persistent neighbor who wouldn’t stop asking questions about his gardening habits.

“’Why do you do that?” Gaylor’s neighbor asked, “Why do you spend so much time working on your yard?”

Gaylor answered, “Because my name is on the mailbox.”

He then narrowed that sentence down to one word — pride.

“All Airmen should put their name on the Luke AFB mailbox” he said. “Never let go of that sense of pride all Airmen should have.”

As Gaylor continued to share from his life experiences, told with his sense of humor, he also commented on the audience’s attitude.

“I look out at those faces, and boy, you’re tuned in,” he said. “Can I take some of you with me?”

Even though Gaylor may not be able to take Luke’s Airmen back to San Antonio, his words are sure to stay with them.

“You’re my kind of people,” he said. “I want you on my team.

Gaylor concluded with a final thought.

“I don’t want you to be in a hurry to put something on my tombstone” he said. “But, I wouldn’t mind if it read, ‘He loved the United States Air Force.’”




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