Chief sets bar, challenges troops to invest more time in JPME

  • Published
  • By United States Strategic Command Public Affairs

In the United States Air Force, there is almost no greater honor for an enlisted member than to obtain the rank of chief master sergeant and have the opportunity to give back to the force.

Many chiefs strive to maintain mastery of all their jobs and proficiencies, take a proactive role within their organization, constantly pursue professional development, and above all, set the example for those around them.

Throughout his time at U.S. Strategic Command, U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Richard Dawson, Human Capital Superintendent and Air Reserve component senior enlisted leader, continued this trend by challenging the enlisted who fall under him to participate in Joint Professional Military Education (JPME).

Professional Military Education is the formal system of education within the services that has an overall focus on professional development, leadership and management. The role of PME is to provide the education needed to complement individual training, operational experience, and self-improvement to produce professionally competent and confident leaders.

“Understanding each other’s training programs allows us collectively as a whole to better integrate, influence and lead,” Dawson said.

At USSTRATCOM, Dawson is directly responsible for more than 500 enlisted Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen. To better understand what is required from his troops and set an example, Dawson began attending his sister service’s PME courses.

In a joint environment, chief master sergeants have to ensure they are not only up to date regarding the role of the Air Force within the organization, but they need to understand the role of each sister service member and the technological changes in tomorrow’s fight.

“As technology changes across our services, the Joint Force warfighter has to be able to integrate, influence, and lead the joint operational environment,” Dawson explained. “Education is key to developing the solutions to do all of that and become a more lethal force for tomorrow. The concept of Joint Multi-Domain Operations that was spelled out by Gen. David Goldfein, U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff, at its base underpins these principles. I take this guidance seriously and thus set out to learn all that I could for the personnel that I am directly responsible for.”

Most recently, Dawson completed the Navy Enlisted Information Warfare Course here. This course demonstrates that Sailors are qualified in their rating and have acquired general knowledge to enhance their understanding of the role of information warfare capabilities as it pertains to warfighting, mission readiness and command survivability.

“I wanted to learn more about what the sailors do to earn their rate,” Dawson said. “I wanted to see what they went through to become certified to do their job, so I enrolled in their enlisted program. It was a very challenging and humbling experience, but I feel more connected to those sailors I am responsible for.”

The benefit of being at a joint command is having opportunities to participate in one of our sister service training programs, Dawson continued.

“To me, the amount of training one receives can be the difference between success and failure on the battlefield,” Dawson said. “We should understand how each one of us trains and provide us the ability to influence the battlefield.”

USSTRATCOM has global responsibilities assigned through the Unified Command Plan that include strategic deterrence, nuclear operations, joint electromagnetic spectrum operations, global strike, missile defense, and analysis and targeting

For more information, contact the USSTRATCOM Public Affairs Office at 402-912-0020 or or visit