Chief's first shadow to cast own shadow someday

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jason Wiese
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs
It is sometimes hard to imagine what great leaders were like before they had the power to do great things. A safe bet is when they were young, they had mentors showing them the ropes and what it means to lead.

In this spirit, Chief Master Sgt. Michael Garrou, 90th Missile Wing command chief, has started a Chief's Shadow Program. On the first Wednesday of each month, Garrou said he plans to have an outstanding Airman "shadow" him to see what a command chief does on a daily basis.

Command chiefs monitor enlisted issues and advise commanders. This necessitates they get out and about within their respective organizations and see what enlisted Airmen do first-hand, so Garrou brought his first shadow, Airman 1st Class Kim Perez, 790th Missile Security Forces Squadron, with him as he visited various organizations throughout F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., Nov. 5.

Since the program is intended to mentor Airmen, Garrou made time to mentor Perez directly.

"We built some time into our schedule to talk one-on-one about her goals and future plans," he said.

Perez said she learned a lot from the day shadowing Garrou.

"It was a blessing and a great opportunity," she said. "It's an honor to be chosen for the first one in the program."

There is no formal selection process. As he goes out and about in the wing, Garrou said he will take note of outstanding Airmen he would like to shadow him.

The reason Perez was selected as the first Chief's Shadow was mainly due to her winning the title of Airman with the best dorm on base. In Wing Stand-Up, a weekly meeting of 90th MW leadership, Col. Tracey Hayes, 90th MW commander, commended not only the tidiness of Perez's dorm, but for displays in her room describing her future goals.

Perez is squared away and has a great attitude, Garrou said.

"It's great to see Airmen with this kind of enthusiasm and the desire to do more in the Air Force," he said.

Perez accompanied Garrou to the First Term Airman Center, where he spoke to new first-term Airmen about what he does, what he expects of them and life at Warren in general. While there, Perez also spoke to them from a junior enlisted Airman's perspective on how to succeed and make the most of their time here.

She spoke unwaveringly when giving sound advice to her peers in FTAC and later said she loves public speaking. When someone meets an Airman like Perez, it is no longer hard to imagine what great leaders are like when they are young.