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Eighth CMSAF visits Pope

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Kristopher Levasseur
  • 43rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
The eight Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, Sam E. Parish visited Pope Aug. 5 and 6 to meet with Pope Airmen and to speak at Pope's Senior NCO Induction Ceremony.

The Chief served more than 32 years, but remains active today mentoring Airmen since retirement. During his time as Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, he was the enlisted adviser to secretaries of the Air Force, Verne Orr, Russell A. Rourke and Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Gen. Charles A. Gabriel.

"It was almost 46 years ago when I received word I was promoted to master sergeant. In those days, even though promotion to master sergeant was extremely rare, we didn't have ceremonies that recognized promotions of any enlisted grades," said Chief Parish. "Promotions were very important to us as it signified to us the greater responsibility for jobs and the authority over the people doing those jobs."

While here, Chief Parish spoke about the impact leadership has on the Air Force and the value of having a good mentor.

"The most influential leader in my career was my first supervisor, Capt. Eugene T. Blanton," said Chief Parish. "He was a great mentor; he made me do things that I never believed I could do and he never let me fail.

"He gave me so much confidence in myself that after four years under his supervision, I never worried about any job that I took on in the Air Force," the Chief stated.

Chief Parish also passed on advice for the Air Force's newest Airmen.

"Be the best at whatever you do in the Air Force; it doesn't matter what your job is, you should always want to be the best you can be," said the Chief. "And do it with a positive attitude and a smile on your face."

The chief added that no matter what position you hold in the Air Force and no matter how much influence you hold, you never make decisions on your own.

"There are a lot of things that I was able to affect in the Air Force as Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, but as most of us know, you don't do anything on your own," said Chief Parish. "Every change I made and policy that was put into place while I was the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force was backed by my supervisor.

"As far as my greatest accomplishment in office, history is going to have to decide that, but my greatest personal accomplishment in my opinion was not changing who I am as a person filling that position."