WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio-- Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne Bass has a duty day unlike most who put on the uniform.
She often gets things started by 4:30 a.m. before embarking on workdays jam-packed full of office tours, command briefs and meeting with Airmen across various installations, which she calls the “best part of my job ... hands down.”
After beginning the day before sunrise more than 1,000 miles away at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, Bass touched down at Wright-Patterson AFB around 1:30 p.m. June 2 for the start of a three-day visit. The chief immediately hit the ground running with a meet-and-greet at the 88th Communications Group.
Later on, she met with two outstanding performers, talked to Airmen and took a two-hour tour through Wright-Patterson Medical Center.
Her second day at WPAFB started off with physical training at 5 a.m., an important part of every morning to Bass and her team.
“We start our morning off with PT so that we can get our physical brain going for the day and keep up our mental acuity,” she said.
At 7:15, she met with Gen. Arnold Bunch, the Air Force Materiel Command commander, and sat in on an hour-long AFMC mission overview brief 15 minutes later.
Bass then spent a few minutes with four outstanding performers, thanking them for their contributions and efforts. Afterward, she was able to pause for a five-minute comfort break worked into her busy itinerary.
“On most trips, it’s tough to be able to take a pause and take time to ourselves,” she said. “But we know that our Airmen are excited for the opportunity to talk or maybe pass on some feedback to us.”
By 9 a.m., the chief would arrive at the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, where she’d spend the next 35 minutes touring and talking with Airmen.
Her next stop was the AFLCMC Uniform Office to gain insight on the new upcoming PT gear and other uniform changes to be rolled out soon.
From there, Bass spent about an hour at the Air Force Research Laboratory, again talking to Airmen and hearing about their mission. That would continue over lunch.
While the travel to Air Force bases around the world can be grueling, Bass says her main focus is getting to spend time and hear from Airmen.
“The best part of my job is hands down ... meeting our Airmen,” she wrote recently on Twitter. “They inspire me every single day.”
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force was up next for the chief and her team June 3. She attended and spoke at a retirement ceremony for Chief Master Sgt. Stephen Arbona, the former 88th Air Base Wing command chief.
The final stop of the day would be at the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, where Bass sat down with enlisted leaders and first sergeants and then got a basic overview of what happens on a day-to-day basis there.
On the last day of her WPAFB tour June 4, the office calls cranked up even earlier.
Starting at 6:45, she began with a tour of the 88th Security Forces Squadron, moved to a breakfast with senior NCOs and then had a total force all-call inside the Wright-Patterson Club.
Her time at Wright-Patterson AFB would come to end at 3 p.m., allowing her a chance to relax, reflect and unwind.
“I recharge by spending time with my family,” Bass said. “As busy as we are, I do my best to protect that family time.”
The busy travel schedule keeps the chief master sergeant of the Air Force constantly on the go, but she says she’s always eager to meet with Airmen.
And she had some parting advice at Wright-Patterson AFB.
“Don’t let you be the reason why you’re not excelling,” she told a young Airman who wanted to know how she achieved her position as the Air Force’s top enlisted leader. “Focus on just being the best you.”