Chief Chat: 5 questions with the new command chief

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Celeste Zuniga

Chief Master Sgt. Charles Holt, the new 307th Bomb Wing command chief, has impacted thousands of Airmen throughout his career as a first sergeant and senior enlisted leader. Now in his new position, he is ready to bring positive transformation to the Airmen of the 307th Bomb Wing.

Holt enlisted in the Air Force in 1992 and spent 12 years in the avionics maintenance career field. He realized his ability to connect with others and his drive to work with people one-on-one, leading him to become a first sergeant in 2004. After years as a first sergeant, Holt served as a group senior enlisted leader. He also served as a member of the Air Force Association Reserve Council and developed legislative and policy recommendations addressing issues that impact the Air Force Reserve.

Holt is excited to take the best practices he learned throughout his experience and apply them here. We sat down with him to learn more about his leadership and new role as command chief.

Q: Where are you from, and what influenced to join the Air Force?

A: I am from Fairfax, Virginia. I joined because I observed what our forces were doing during Operation Desert Storm. As I was watching the Persian Gulf War, I felt a call to the mission and knew I needed to do my part and contribute. I was still young and thought, if I’m going to do this, I need to do it now. It was supposed to be six years, but here I am today!

Q: You mentioned you originally planned to serve for six years. What motivates you to keep serving today?

A: I enjoy getting to train, develop and motivate our Airmen. I get to help Airmen discover their abilities and successes that they may not even know. It’s great to pull that out and see how their abilities contribute to the mission, to their success, and as a result, their overall pride.

Q: The Air Force has changed since you first enlisted. How have these changes influenced you as a leader?

A: The changes I’ve seen throughout these 30 years have led me to become the transformational leader I am today because I learned the importance of adaptation. The changes have certainly altered my approach to communication. I use diverse communication styles to address a wide array of audiences. I’ve also learned the importance of focusing on personal and professional development within myself and instilling that in Airmen. Once you take care of your development, you have the foundation to contribute successfully to your mission.

Q: If you had a catchphrase to describe your leadership philosophy, what would it be?

A: My catchphrase would be, “embrace change.” My leadership style is somewhere between transformational and transactional. The world we face is ever-changing. With that, we need to change our internal objectives and goals. My role is to guide Airmen as we go through these changes. At the same time, I trust Airmen to be experts in their field. I will guide them, but it’s up to them to determine how they’re going to succeed in their pathway. I’m here as a resource. The only transactional piece of me is that I know we have to continue recognizing the work that our Airmen do. I don’t think a lot of people understand the challenges we face as Reservists. We have to balance work, life, school, and anything else we are dealing with, and still commit to this for 48 hours on a weekend. I think reassurance and recognition go really far.

Q: What are your expectations of the Airmen in the 307th Bomb Wing? What can they expect from you?

A: I expect our Airmen to always be wingmen, involved and fully engaged. I expect them to give it all they have, understand the importance and seriousness of their commitment and contribute their experiences from outside of the military. I also expect them to share new ideas to solve complex problems. Everything I expect from them, they can expect from me. My goal is to be approachable, so they should expect that they can always talk to me. Lastly, they can expect me to drop in, unannounced, for spontaneous conversation.