Meet the command chief
Education is vital in enlisted success

Airman Edward Drescher
Kaiserslautern American

***image1***The KMC is constantly growing and changing and the command chief of the 435th Air Base Wing is ready to tackle all the challenges that come with being a leader in the KMC.

Chief Master Sgt. Dale Buckholtz, who took over as command chief of the 435th ABW in October, said education and readiness are the keys to success in the enlisted force.

As the command chief, Chief Buckholtz is the enlisted representative for the KMC and is a vital counselor to the KMC commander and other senior leadership.

“I take this position very seriously. As the last set of enlisted eyes on many of the actions taken, I make sure we’re doing best by our Air Force while balancing the quality of service for our people and community,” said Chief Buckholtz.

Chief Buckholtz has been a workhorse of sorts in his career. He currently holds a bachelor’s degree in information systems management and just recently received his master’s degree in international relations. On top of this he was playing a dual-hatted role when the last command chief left. He was the 435th Security Forces Group superintendent and was the acting command chief for the 435th ABW. He also was taking care of his family, which includes his wife and two children.

“I am not Superman or anything like that,” said Chief Buckholtz. “I want to set the example and show our younger Airmen school and work can be accomplished with a little hard work and sacrifice; it will not get easier as you ascend the enlisted ladder.”
He believes that education is an alternative outlet for enlisted personnel here in the KMC.

“Books not booze,” he said.
School is not the only education he is talking about. He also feels that professional education such as Airmanship, supervisory responsibilities and technical skills, are essential.

“I want everyone to be the best at their technical job,” said Chief Buckholtz.
He is also a strong advocate for NCO professionalism and believes our new Airmen must continue in the long line of strong leaders.

“The Air Force must have strong NCOs – it’s what separates us from the pack,” he said.

As Chief Buckholtz is pushing for professional enhancement seminars, one or two week programs that can train personnel during interim professional military education periods, he is also moving forward on issues such as dormitory improvements and recognition.

“Exacting compliance with Air Force standards are essential; dress and personal appearance, military customs and courtesies, technical competence and understanding the latest Air Force programs, allows us to navigate successfully and show our Airmen the path which leads to success,” said Chief Buckholtz.

The chief has had several overseas tours, including the Phillipines, Japan and Korea. His experiences include being a squadron- and group-level chief, and for a MAJCOM staff and special operations group.