RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy and his wife, Paula Roy, visited with members of Team Ramstein July 7.
Him and his wife were touring various locations such as the 603rd Air Operations Center, 435th Contingency Response Group compound, the new Deployment Transition Center and ending with a visit to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany.
"It's an opportunity for both Paula and me to travel and visit with airmen and their families to find out what's going on with them," Roy said. "We wanted to come and talk with airmen, see what missions they are doing, see how they're developed and talk with the families, making sure they have what they need as well."
As the chief master sergeant of the Air Force saw the many facets of Ramstein Air Base, he noticed the exceptional job they do
"Wow, what a mission here. The men and women of the Kaiserslautern Military Community is one of variety, multiple missions, and they have an effect around the globe," he said. "To the families who are here ... thank you for what you do. We fully understand the many sacrifices you endure, and we certainly appreciate your sacrifices."
Roy engages in several priorities, including partnering with joint and coalition forces, cultivating airmen and building resiliency with airmen and their families.
"One of the priorities for the Office of the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force is working with our joint and coalition teammates and developing airmen for that fight," he said. "Some of the things we're trying to do is to include that development within their education, experience and training. We're sending folks to both joint and coalition professional military education. We're doing a lot of different education aspects with our joint partners as well, along with joint training. And, a little bit of coalition training that we'd like to expand out a bit."
Though resiliency with airmen and their families is a top priority for the 16th chief master sergeant of the Air Force, this past year was Year of the Air Force Family holds a very special place in Mrs. Roy's heart.
"Being the champion for the Key Spouse Program, I've had the pleasure of meeting with several spouses and learning how the program is being done here," she said. "It's working, but we are still trying to footstomp it to have the senior leaders involved and be supportive of that program, because in the end, it helps the units out as well."
Being stationed overseas, Team Ramstein members can sometimes feel "a million miles from home" during holidays like the recent Independence Day.
"Miss Paula, I and our two sons spent quite a few years overseas as well. And, we understand the distance that it feels like," Roy said. "In reality as you're abroad and in different cultures, you begin to learn more and more about people. Certainly at times of holidays, there's always a sense that you need to be home. Just remember, you're doing our nation's business abroad, and the sacrifices you and your family endure are something we note. And, our commander in chief understands the sacrifices you endure as well."
This is something Mrs. Roy agrees with.
"At particularly those times we are apart from our blood family, we rely on our Air Force family," she said. "We're all in this together. So, they become who we celebrate with, who we mourn with. But, that's our sense of community we are trying to build upon."
Roy also gathered with enlisted members during an enlisted call, highlighting his three priorities and taking questions from the audience.
"It was excellent," said Staff Sgt. Patricia Waller, 86th Airlift Wing Knowledge Operations non-commissioned officer. "He provided very vital information. He was genuine with his answers and spoke from the heart."
Roy also gave several tidbits of advice for the lowest Airman to the top of the enlisted structure.
For those just entering service, he said for them to strive to be the best at their job and to find a mentor.
"We have some dynamic supervisors in our Air Force," Roy said. "They will set you in the right places to learn the right skills at the right time and continue growth."
For NCOs, the chief said he recognized the shoes they fill.
"The first-line supervisor is one of the most challenging and demanding job we have in our Air Force," he said. "There's a lot that rests on their shoulders. Certainly, there's mission accomplishment, but we also have to take care of our Airmen and their families."
Though chiefs and chief selects have reached that top 1 percent of the Air Force, their journey is not complete.
"I would charge every chief master sergeant in our Air Force that they have a very big challenge ahead of them and that is to continue to train and educate our airmen -- both enlisted and officer," Roy said. "That's our responsibility to train those young enlisted airmen, along with continuing to help educate the officer core. The other part I would tell them is they can't ever forget where they came from. They've got to take care of their airmen; they've got to take care of those families and take care of the mission as well."
Roy, whose background is in civil engineering, entered the Air Force in September 1982 and went on to become chief master sergeant of the Air Force on June 30, 2009. After visiting Ramstein, his tour of U.S. Air Forces in Europe is scheduled to include Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, and Aviano Air Base, Italy.