Retired Chief gives advice to young Airmen

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Benjamin Wiseman
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs
Before hanging up his uniform, a chief master sergeant has some advice to all Airmen for a successful career and a thriving family.

Chief Master Sgt. Ernest Brown, 71st Rescue Squadron chief enlisted manager, retired April 16 after 30 years of service to the Air Force and more than 6,000 flying hours.

"It has been a long road, but I've loved my job because of the places I got to see and the people I got to meet," said the chief. "I still love my job, but it is time to move on to a more family-orientated part of my life."

Chief Brown began his career when he traveled to Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, for Basic Military Training in June of 1980. He then began his career as an administration specialist, but soon after felt the urge to fly and became a C-130 loadmaster.

"I would see my friends come and go on their aircraft and it seemed like they were always going to great places, so I decided flying was for me," said Chief Brown as he reflected back on the time he decided to switch careers.

After he became a loadmaster, Chief Brown was stationed at Diaz AFB, Texas, where he met his wife Judith.

"The greatest day of my career was the day I met Judith," he said. "I have to give credit to the Air Force because I would not have met her if I hadn't cross-trained.

"Beside my mother and father, my wife was one of my greatest motivators," he added. "Judith is a loving and caring woman, but knew how to push me to succeed."

Chief Brown was a very successful enlisted member during his Air Force career. He held almost every qualification as a C-130 loadmaster, including standardization and evaluation flight examiner.

"I try to stress that people come first. If you take care of the people, they will take care of you, everything else will fall into place," he said when asked the keys of success during his career.

The chief has been stationed here at Moody for two years and is responsible for leading and mentoring nearly 100 enlisted aviators.

"Chief Brown is a fantastic, amazing guy who always looks out for his troops." said Maj. Aaron Griffith, 71st RQS assistant director of operations. "Airmen would benefit from sitting down with the Chief because there is a lot of knowledge to learn from his experiences."

Chief Brown plans to spend some off time and visit his grandchildren after his retirement. He and his wife will be moving to San Antonio, Texas, so Judith can resume her career.

Before the chief leaves, he has some advice for all Airmen.

"Be honest and keep your word because credibility will go a long way," he said. "Noncommissioned officers should lead by example. That way, your troops will respect you and not just your rank."

In addition to being a good leader, the chief says maintaining a balance between work and family is one of the most important aspects.

"As for family, remember to have an equal balance between your job and loved ones," said Chief Brown. "When it is all said and done, family will be what is waiting at home."