My Life

Chief Master Sgt. James Randall

Editor’s note: James Randall is the command chief master sergeant for the 27th Fighter Wing at Cannon Air Force Base. His diary began Monday and concludes today.

Hello from Kirtland Air Force Base in beautiful Albuquerque.
I will be bringing this last installment to you from my laptop in my hotel room.
Thursday began with breakfast at the Ramada Inn where I am billeted, after which I departed for the short drive to Kirtland AFB.
I arrived at the NCO Academy about 7:45 a.m. and was greeted by the commandant, and after some discussion about current Professional Military Education issues, I was given the opportunity to talk with 10 students from Cannon.
I don’t know if they realize it or not but there was a new pride in their eyes and a spring in their step from having just completed a tough six-week course covering a wide range of military and professional skill sets.
They also met new people, made new friends and gained a new perspective on what it means to be an NCO in the USAF. The 27th Fighter Wing and the USAF is getting some better NCOs as a result.
After the feedback session with the students, I went back to the commandant’s office and briefed him on my impressions and things the students wanted to pass on.
Following this we went to a student-led final retreat ceremony that was executed superbly and paid a fitting tribute to our national symbols, the American flag and our national anthem.
After a quick lunch and walk around the Kirtland AFB Exchange (BX), I headed back to my hotel and underwent 3 1/2 hours of reading and answering e-mail, updating my calendar and reviewing some paperwork I brought with me.
I then got into my PT gear and headed for a workout session at the west side Kirtland Fitness Center.
I may not be objective … but I think our cardio theater at Cannon and for that matter our fitness center is a cut above.
At 4:30 p.m., I returned to my hotel and got my mess dress uniform (it’s kind of like a military tuxedo) ready for the big event … the graduation banquet and diploma ceremony.
I am so proud of these NCOs. They have worked hard and have learned the lessons of the last six weeks well.
There were many family members present and they were also glowing with pride.
I planned to head back to my hotel about 9:30 to get some sleep. I will be up early (this morning) so I can get back to base at a reasonable time. There is work waiting for me in my office.
It has been an honor and privilege to share a bit of my life with you these past few days. It has been fun to let you know a little of what I do and that I wasn’t kidding about the long hours.
But mostly I hope you see that the men and women of the 27th Fighter Wing are working hard and doing great things.
We are grateful to live and work in a community where we are genuinely appreciated. I think I can speak for my fellow airmen … we also appreciate you.
From the folks that take our order at the fast-food counter, to the people that fix our vehicles to the people that work hard to put food on our tables, we are able to do what we do because you all are out there without fanfare or thanks keeping this wonderful place we call the United States running.
So to the good folks of Clovis, Portales, Roosevelt and Curry counties, thank you for all you do for us.

If you’d like to volunteer for a series of My Life diaries, contact Freedom Newspapers of New Mexico Editor David Stevens at 1-800-819-9925 or by e-mail:
david_stevens@link.freedom.com