Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright spoke on leading with purpose during the annual Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber Conference Sept. 18 at National Harbor.
Wright represents the highest enlisted level of leadership and provides direction for the enlisted force, representing their interests, as appropriate, to the American public and to those in all levels of government. Wright’s speech focused on taking care of Airmen and continuing to develop a combative edge for future efforts.
“We need everyone to be focused,” Wright said. “We’re fighting wars of cognition. We have to think our way through this. To do that, we must focus on our most valuable assets and that’s ourselves.”
During his speech, Wright spoke about maintaining a combative edge by having Airmen who know and understand their purpose, take care of themselves, focus on mastery, collaborate with each other, focus on developing grit and lead with conviction.
Even with all that emphasized, he said maintaining a combative edge comes down to one thing.
“I tried to give you all these things but sometimes it just comes down to being a good human being,” Wright said. “A great part of becoming the best version of you, being a person we need in our Air Force, is to be a good human being. Think about how you treat people, think about how you talk to people, think about how you deal with people.”
More than 2,500 people attended Wright’s speech including Senior Airman Matthew Escobedo from the 28th Operation Support Squadron, Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota.
“Chief Wright has inspired me to take a look at my future as an up-and-coming leader,” Escobedo said. “I know I need to strive to be a great leader and set an example for Airmen. Listening to him, it also clicked that in order to be that example, I need to take care of myself.”
This was Wright’s third ASC conference as the chief master sergeant of the Air Force. The ASC Conference is a professional development seminar that offers the opportunity for Department of Defense personnel to participate in forums, speeches and workshops.