A day in the life of a commander

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah-- Col. Scott Chambers, 75th Air Base Wing commander, makes a pit stop at the 75th Medical Group's picnic at Centennial Park.  He greets Tech. Sgt. Steven Henry, NCOIC for the 75th MDG education and training office, and his son Cohen.

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah-- Col. Scott Chambers, 75th Air Base Wing commander, makes a pit stop at the 75th Medical Group's picnic at Centennial Park. He greets Tech. Sgt. Steven Henry, NCOIC for the 75th MDG education and training office, and his son Cohen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Genieve David

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah-- Col. Scott Chambers, 75th Air Base Wing commander, sounds off a laundry list of to do's for his secretary Amy Mecham and wing executive officer Capt. Kevin Jernigan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Genieve David)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah-- Col. Scott Chambers, 75th Air Base Wing commander, sounds off a laundry list of to do's for his secretary Amy Mecham and wing executive officer Capt. Kevin Jernigan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Genieve David)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah-- Col. Scott Chambers, 75th Air Base Wing commander, literally pulls off the side of the road to pick up a piece of trash on the base.  The commander believes in creating a beautiful environment to work and live in. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Genieve David)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah-- Col. Scott Chambers, 75th Air Base Wing commander, literally pulls off the side of the road to pick up a piece of trash on the base. The commander believes in creating a beautiful environment to work and live in. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Genieve David)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- If you are trying to gain five minutes of a commander's time, take a number. The day in the life of a commander is never the same and you can usually bet on a hectic day, full of surprises and back-to-back appointments.

"A commander's job truly is 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year," said Col. Scott Chambers, 75th Air Base Wing commander.

Within twelve years, since initially entering the Air Force in 1984, the colonel received his first command at the squadron level at Misawa Air Base, Japan. Thereafter, he has held command positions at Nellis AFB, Nev., Aviano AB, Italy, Kirtland AFB, N.M., and currently here.

"I enjoy being a commander because I can really make huge differences in our Airmen, and their families' lives through improvements in processes and infrastructure."

According to Colonel Chambers, the first couple of things a new commander should do is homework -- studying the mission, reviewing records of future team members, reviewing climate assessments/past inspections, providing timely feedback, and visiting areas within your command.

"The hardest thing about being a commander is balancing family needs and mission needs," Colonel Chambers said.

Throughout the day in the life of this commander, it was apparent that time management is essential in this position. Colonel Chambers knew he had too much to do, with limited time. He seamlessly conducted business via his hands-free cell phone device while traveling to his next appointment -- one less thing on what seemed like an endless to do list.

Some of the wing commander's biggest pet peeves are littering and cell phone usage without using a hands-free device on a DOD installation. Colonel Chambers is known to stop rule-breakers in their tracks and correct them on the spot.

"If I see someone throw a cigarette butt, or use a cell phone while driving and I don't say anything about it, I'm not sending the right message. I need to set the example," he said.

His day comprised of dealing with issues ranging from personnel administrative actions, attending a Prisoner of War/Missing in Action ceremony, occupational safety incidents, updated on on-going investigations pertaining to Hill, several staff meetings, and all the while he still made time to swing by one of the group's picnics for a meet and greet with the Airmen.

Sometimes commanders get to do some interesting things while in command. During Colonel Chambers' tour here he mentioned one of his most memorable events he participated in was the Utah parades.

"My most memorable experience at Hill Air Force Base, was being given the opportunity to participate in a few parades with my family," said Colonel Chambers. "It was a great feeling to see the community stand and clap, when we went by, in recognition of all military members."

The day in the life of a commander is not easy, according to Colonel Chambers, but having a great Air Force team and the support of his family makes his day easier to swallow.

"I am the luckiest commander in the world," Colonel Chambers said. "I have the most understanding and supportive family possible. Without their support, I would simply fail to lead." 

This article is a first in a series of articles based on the day in the life of...