Retired Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright Visits Team Fairchild

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Clare Werner
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing

Retired Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright led a professional development seminar at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, Feb. 26, 2024.

During his visit, Wright visited the Warrior Dining Facility for breakfast with 92nd Air Refueling Wing Leaders, the Tech. Sgt. Herman Mackey Airman Leadership School and the 92nd Medical Group facilities.

During his professional development seminar, Wright provided advice to Airmen by sharing his own personal experiences and insights about how to manage the ebbs and flows of being in the military. 

“I had to do a mindset shift. This was in between my 17th and 20th year in the Air Force,” Wright explained. “I shifted away from [asking] ‘why is this happening to me?’ and I started asking myself this one question, ‘what is the lesson here, what is the universe trying to teach me right now?’”

Wright described a few examples of when he went through struggles of being in the military. He recalled hitting a wall on his way to being promoted to Chief Master Sgt. when he encountered leadership issues and was thinking about ending his Air Force career.

“One day a young man walked into my office, he was an Airman 1st Class,” Wright recalled. “He just, right off the bat, says ‘hey sarge, I think you’re a hypocrite; you’ve been telling us [to] be strong, see it through, work through your problems, don’t give up and now as soon as you go through something you’re quitting on us.’ I went home that evening, and I realized he was right, and that moment is when my mindset shift began.”

Later in the seminar, Tech. Sgt. Aaron Smith, an Aircrew Flight Equipment Craftsman assigned to the 92nd Operational Support Squadron, asked Wright questions about changing his mindset and opened the floor for Airmen in the audience to ask questions of their own.

“I believe that my story has helped make me the person that I am, and it has become very helpful,” Wright explained when asked about how his challenges molded him into becoming a better Chief Master Sgt. “The obstacles, the barriers, the challenges in life, they are not to necessarily be avoided, I think those are the things that make us.”

After his in-depth seminar, Wright headed to the ALS where he honored the Shell 77 Memorial, a KC-135 Stratotanker crash that resulted in the deaths of three service members, and spoke to current Airmen attending ALS about what they would like to see in the future of the Air Force.

Following the visit to ALS, Wright visited an aircraft hangar and spoke with the 92nd Maintenance and Aircraft Maintenance Squadrons Chief Master Sgt.’s and top performing Airmen before touring a KC-135 Stratotanker.

Wright’s tour ended with a visit to the base dental clinic and 92nd MDG facility where he greeted dental Airmen and various medical personnel to honor his Air Force Specialty Code as a dental assistant.

Wright noted the importance of how Airmen having a positive attitude and adjusting their mindsets can help them overcome the challenges they will face throughout their career and allow them to pave the way for the next generation of Airmen.

“Knowing how to communicate is not that hard, but having the right mindset and how you want to deal with a person that’s different from you is what’s most important,” Wright said.