Des Moines, Iowa --
Q&A with Chief Master Sgt Kris A. Rode, the ninth Command Chief for the 132d Wing, Iowa Air National Guard, Des Moines, IA.
Q: What is your history with the 132d Wing?
Rode: I have 28.5 years of service all with the Iowa 132d Wing, all have been with Medical Group. When I came to join the Guard I had two choices, crew chief or medical, and I had zero background with either. Obviously I chose medical and I have even served a tour as a first sergeant with them.
Q: What are your goals and focus for this new position?
Rode: Number one is our unit has a legacy of greatness. I want to continue that, leave a mark and leave it better than when I got here. Second is continuing to take care of our number one asset, which is people. And part of taking care of people is developing. That includes professional development and making sure everyone is ready for the next step. Not everybody is aware there might be a next step, so I want everyone to be prepared. And finally, we don’t know where this wing will go or what the next ten years will bring. Obviously, I won’t always be here, but preparing our Airmen to take us into the future and can continue to make us better.
Q: What are you most excited about in this new position?
Rode: I’m most excited about the people. You know, in the medical group, we would have everyone come through once a year for a flu shot and anybody who’s been here for a couple of years knows that process is pretty quick. Now I have that opportunity to not be rushed. I get to go out and go to their work center and have them show me what they do and talk to them.
Q: Is there anything you want the Airman of the 132d Wing to know?
Rode: I want them all to know how grateful we are, I am, that they’re here and have decided to do this. It’s absolutely a family out here. It’s hard, the sacrifice you make. And it’s very much about balance. We all hear the statistics about how not a lot of people join the military, it’s a very small percent. And to those people who have chosen to do this: continue to make this place great.