Resilient, ready force focus for new AFMC command chief

  • Published
  • By Marisa Alia-Novobilski
  • Air Force Materiel Command

The position of command chief is one that comes with tremendous responsibility, especially when the incumbent is charged with leading at the Air Force major command level.

To ready himself to assume his role at the Air Force Materiel Command and the myriad of responsibilities it entails, Chief Master Sgt. David A. Flosi did what he believes every good Airman should do to prepare for something big:  he unplugged, spent time with family and took time to recharge his battery so that he would be ready for the challenge ahead.

“I really wanted to be mentally ready to show up. It may sound counterintuitive, but I felt that by taking some time away I could make sure I was ready to hit the ground running,” said Flosi. “Actually taking a knee and relaxing for a couple weeks helped me to recharge and get ready to contribute quickly.”

Flosi assumed the role of AFMC command chief in early October, and “hitting the ground running” was exactly what characterized what he did during his first few weeks in office, with multiple meetings, trips, conferences and more keeping him in a state of continuous flow.

“I am amazed each day when I see General Bunch and all of our leaders move seamlessly from meeting to meeting, with topics ranging from budgets, to human capital and then later on, Next Generation Air Dominance. I am focusing on becoming operationally competent on all of our AFMC missions so I can be in a good place to help inform when needed,” he said.

Flosi is no stranger to AFMC, having just served as the Air Force Sustainment Center command chief. In fact, he started his Air Force career as an AFMC Airman at Kirtland Air Force Base, training as a nuclear weapons specialist following graduation from basic military training in 1996.

“I thought I would go into finance. My plan was to serve a few years, get the G.I. bill so I could finish college, and then get a job in the civilian sector. I guess life didn’t quite work out as planned. It has actually worked out far better than I could have imagined” Flosi said.

As a nuclear maintainer, which he calls a small, little known community, Flosi was stationed around to world, supporting U.S. as well as allied combat Air Forces in an operationally unique way. It was these experiences, along with an open mind towards new and unknown opportunities that led Flosi to transition from looking at the service as a job and instead see it as a career.

“It was overseas when I started to realize the economics of serving and how much it would cost to take of our family outside of the service. And then I had the chance to start supervising people. To have that level of influence and responsibility for the Airmen who were assigned to me…it brought home how much I loved the opportunity to lead and help others. That’s when I decided I was going to make the Air Force a career,” said Flosi.

As the AFMC command chief, Flosi will advise the commander on all matters regarding the readiness, training, professional development and the effective utilization of more than 89,000 total force Airmen. These military and civilian Airmen work across six centers and more than a dozen installations, performing critical missions in support of all aspects of air and space.

“It’s rare for an enlisted person to get to serve in a leadership position at the organizational level. That comes with a huge responsibility. I really want to understand our Airmen, their needs and engage with them at their level so I can find out what their barriers are to success and remove them,” said Flosi. “My role is to listen, understand and take action.”

In addition to executing the commander’s intent and ensuring Airmen across the command clearly understand the importance of their mission roles, Flosi plans to maintain a strong focus on building greater resiliency across the force. Today’s warfighting environment and the future threat requires ready, agile Airmen, and to be that, it is important to have a resilient baseline, he says.

“We need ready, capable Airmen, and that includes preventative mental, financial and physical care. If our Airmen are worrying about the bill collector, they’re not going to be mentally ready to deploy a multimillion dollar weapon system. We need to rally our first line supervisors and continue to help take care of our Airmen and each other,” said Flosi.

As he immerses himself in the command chief role over the next few months, Flosi plans to approach each day with an open mind, with the goal to learn as much as he can from all of the AFMC Airmen. This is the same approach he has taken throughout his entire career, where an open mind has led to greater opportunities to learn more and experience new things.

“I learn from Airmen each day. I truly believe that if you are willing to open your mind and learn something new each day you come to work, you can be successful,” said Flosi.

Excited to serve as the major command senior enlisted leader, Flosi looks forward to the next few years which will offer a myriad of challenges, opportunities and chances to see Airmen achieve and succeed.

 “I am honored and excited to be here at AFMC. I look forward to working with everyone,” said Flosi.