Losacco reflects on career and time as command chief

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – Chief Master Sgt. Doreen Losacco, the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center command chief, retires Feb. 17 after 28 years of service in the United States Air Force. The Skywrighter interviewed Losacco to learn about her accomplishments, memorable moments and challenges she faced during her career.

Q:  What can you tell us about your time as command chief of the AFLCMC?

A:  I’ve spent my entire career in operational units, and it was an eye-opening experience to see the acquisition side.  I wish I would have had the opportunity to be a part of the acquisition side much earlier in my career.  Knowing what I know now, that Airmen in the field have an opportunity to impact change by funneling up their concerns would have been very beneficial.  Instead of complaining why something is the way it is, knowing there is a process to change it would have been good knowledge for Airmen in the field.  I have stressed to our subject matter experts here in AFLCMC to continually push this information out to the field. I truly believe that everyone should have a short stint in our organization so that they understand how the process actually works.

Q:  What would you consider your successes as AFLCMC command chief?

A: My biggest success has been getting out to visit Airmen in remote locations that typically never get to meet their leadership.  I tried to reach out to every Airmen.  Many of our geographically separated Airmen feel out of sight out of mind, but that is truly not the case.  They may be out of sight, but they were never out of mind and I tried to ensure they always knew that by checking in on them face-to-face as often as possible or via telephone for those locations I could not get to.

Q:  What were some of your most memorable moments as the command chief?

A: Having brand new Airmen be a part of the Order of the Sword ceremony for General Janet Wolfenberger, former Air Force Materiel Command commander.  I had been in 25 years before I was part of such a ceremony.   It is opportunities like this that many Airmen let go by.  Opportunities may only knock once and you have to capitalize on them when they are put in front of you.  I’m quite sure some of the Airmen that may have been “voluntold” to go, now appreciate that their leadership knew an opportunity that should not be passed up.

Additionally, escorting Staff Sgt. David Thatcher from the Doolittle Raiders.  The honor of escorting a true hero who took part in the daring raid that raised the morale of the American public after the attack on Pearl Harbor was something I will never forget.

Q:  Is it a challenge to be the command chief for a Center with so many operating locations?

A:  It's challenging only in that I wish I had the opportunity to visit and talk with the hard working men and women of AFLCMC more often.  As I stated earlier, I never want our Airmen to feel out of sight or out of mind.

Q:  What are you taking away from your job here that will help in your future endeavors?

A: I’m not planning to work, but I will volunteer my time serving others just as I did my entire career.  I plan on sharing my button theory to anyone who will listen.  The idea that life has to be in balance using the four pillars [physical, spiritual, mental, social] is something that anyone should be able to relate to.

Q:  What are some of the high points in your entire career that you will remember?

A: First and foremost, meeting and working with my husband on the flight line.  Here we are 26 years later and we are probably still the best electronic countermeasures pod crew around.  Communication was the key back then and it is the cornerstone now.Secondly, taking care of people.  One particular memory was when I was a first sergeant, we moved one of my Airmen and his family of six, along with their entire household goods, in one week from Kadena Air Base to Hickham Air Force Base, when his 6 - year old daughter was diagnosed with a tumor.  She was able to get her dream through make-a-wish prior to passing away.  It was amazing how every organization went above and beyond to take care of this Airmen and his family.  This truly embodied why I do what I do.  The Air Force family is one that is there no matter what.  I’m truly humbled to have been part of such a family.

Q:  What is one important lesson that you've learned that you would like to share with the next generation of Airmen?

A: Every person has an opportunity to make their mark and have an impact.  Everyone measures success differently.  My profound words to you are “measure your success by your standards and no one else’s.”  I remember one leadership class I went to, I was part of a group that had to put on a presentation.  My group came up with some course of actions (COAs) but no one wanted to brief them, so I filled the role, thinking I was only going to brief our COAs.  Well, our group was not first and the other groups that went before us were way more elaborate on their presentations.  Right off, I thought my fellow team mates set me up to take the fall, but when I got up I changed my thought.  I started my presentation off with the fact that I’m Coke not Pepsi, meaning both are cola drinks but are very different from one another.  One is not necessarily better than the other, just different.  My point is, you have to be who you are and not what others are.  I’ve always said what you see is what you get.  I have no hidden agendas.  I’m just here to serve and take care of people.  In that respect, I think I was very successful.

Q:  Do you have anything else to add?

 A: I feel that if I positively changed at least one Airman's life, my career was successful.   Thank you to every Airmen.  You are the reason I kept serving.