MADISON, Wis. - The Wisconsin Air National Guard's 115th Fighter Wing recognized three outstanding senior enlisted leaders during a recent promotion ceremony.
Kevin Bluske, Jarrett Calhoun and Jessica Maple were promoted to chief master sergeant - the highest enlisted rank in the Air Force - Aug. 23. According to Air National Guard Instruction 38-202, only 2 percent of the Air National Guard force can become a chief master sergeant.
Bluske is the wing weapons manager, Calhoun is the aircraft maintenance superintendent, and Maple - the 2010 Air National Guard senior noncommissioned officer of the year - is the human resources advisor for the 115th Fighter Wing.
"It is the non-commissioned officers with the chiefs leading the way, who must have the intestinal fortitude to recommend what is right, not what is easy," Maple said. "As chiefs, we must and we will epitomize the finest qualities of a military leader. We will ensure the mission is complete to the best of our team's ability and the Airmen are developed and mentored as they are the most valuable resource for mission success."
Bluske launched into his mentoring role during his speech, when he advised Airmen to complete their military education and career development courses.
"People ask me how you become a chief," Bluske said. "I tell them you need a little luck, but most importantly, you must be prepared. If you say to yourself, 'I will be ready, reliable, relevant and respected,' you will be successful."
These three chiefs know what it takes to be successful. They headed down the ready, reliable, relevant and respected path early on in their careers.
"When I joined this organization over 17 years ago, the first thing I noticed was the phrase 'dedicated to excellence' on the fighter wing patch," Calhoun said. "I soon realized that those words were more than a motto - they were a way of life. The pride and professionalism ran deep in this organization, and I wanted to be part of it."
Years later, Calhoun is still glad to be a part of the organization.
"The last 17 years have been an amazing experience leading to this point," Calhoun said. "I look forward to the future and continuing the standard of excellence set by those before me. Ladies and gentlemen, members of the fighter wing, I am honored to represent this organization as one of its chief master sergeants."