RAF MILDENHALL --
It was seeing her dad’s pride as he told stories of his seven years in the Army Reserve that encouraged an Iowa farm girl to join the Air Force. Twenty-six years later, that girl is the 100th Air Refueling Wing command chief, and she’s making it her mission to make lives better for Bloody Hundredth Airmen.
“I always knew, from the time I was in high school, that I wanted to be part of something greater than myself,” said Chief Master Sgt. Kathi Glascock. “As a child, I enjoyed helping others. It gave me a sense of purpose and that made me want to help more people.
“My dad left the reserves right after I was born, but I always remember him telling me stories about when they had drill weekends and the experiences they had,” she remarked. “I always saw that pride for the friendships he made and the service he gave, and as I child I wanted that feeling too. My dad is one of my biggest cheerleaders!”
The new command chief’s career started as a weapons loader for the B-52 Stratofortress; she then retrained to personnel, followed by a special duty as an Airman Leadership School instructor, before returning to personnel. Prior to arriving at RAF Mildenhall as the Bloody Hundredth command chief, Glascock was the commandant of the NCO Academy at Kapaun Air Station, Germany, and she described how her position helped prepare for her role here.
“It was two-fold; as the commandant I got to see our role in shaping NCOs to become professional war-fighting Airmen who could lead and manage teams for the Air Force. I would watch the NCOs take the feedback from the course and see them return to their base, better suited to lead teams of Airmen,” she said. “Secondly, we had a lot of international engagements, and I was able to see how important relationships are, and how they truly are key to success. Working with our international partners, that was a huge take-away, which set me up for this job. I take those relationships very seriously and I know the success that comes from them.”
The command chief’s experience with international relationships helped prepare her for British-American community relations. Her first engagement was at the recent New Mayors’ barbecue.
“That was a big hit,” exclaimed Glascock. “It was great to see their appreciation of us being here in their country, and also how much we appreciate the support they give us, and how we work hand in hand. Several new mayors spoke up, and they were very genuine and sincere about much they love the U.S. military being here and what we do for their country – it was amazing!”
She described her role in simple terms.
“I’ll do everything I can to make the lives better for our Airmen at Team Mildenhall – we have such a great relationship with our mission partners, and my role is to keep my eyes and ears open to the great ideas that our Airmen have, and to the concerns they are sharing. Whether officers, enlisted or civilians, I’m listening to everybody.” she exclaimed. “So if I can make somebody’s day better by listening to their concerns or innovative ideas, or just being there for them, I want to do that – to get engaged with them. I want to know, hey, how can we get after it and make it better?”
The chief described how Team Mildenhall’s Airmen have a huge responsibility, and have to be at their best every day.
“There’s got to be somebody behind the scenes, listening to them and getting them what they need, when they need it. To me, I feel that’s my role,” she said.
With great power and responsibility comes a set of priorities.
“I think we have great priorities already out there, dealing with Airmen, Readiness and Culture,” Glascock remarked. “But what I love is seeing the Airmen embrace those priorities. Recently I’ve seen the NCOs say, ‘We’re going to get after this culture of resiliency’ and they embraced that. I want to take what the wing priorities are and make them real. When we say we’re going to invest in and build resilient Airmen, let’s not just say it, let’s do it – let’s make them real and actionable.”
Glascock explained that 100th ARW Airmen can expect a positive attitude from her.
“I enter every assignment as if it will be my last,” she added. “I leave it all on the field, and I’m going to put my heart and soul into Mildenhall, and to keep the balance I do the same thing at home. I’ve lived by that for a long time, and that’s what I expect in return – if they come with a positive attitude and they leave it on the field, I think we’re going to be super-successful.”