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Security Forces chief visits MacDill, meets with troops

by Staff Sgt. Randy Redman
Thunderbolt editor
Photo by: Staff Sgt. Randy Redman
Chief Master Sgt. Levi Scott holds a mentoring session in the Security Forces conference room Monday.

You can tell a lot about a man by the way he carries himself. When a man who has been in the military for 25 years walks into a room, there is a certain air about him. The spit shine on his boots, the sharp creases in his uniform and the perfect fold of his beret are striking images that tell the story of a man who is true blue to the core. His trip to Macdill this week was a return to what he calls the best part of his job.

Chief Master Sgt. Levi Scott, the Air Force Security Forces career field manager, visited several different sections of the 6th Security Forces this week in an effort to get feedback from the troops to see how to better serve them as a leader and help develop the career field in the future.

Chief Scott had lunch with airmen from the Security Forces Squadron Monday and held a mentoring session afterward. He said this was the best way to hear what the troops have to say about the current state of the force.

"So far I haven't met anyone here who thought there was a challenge they couldn't overcome, and they go forth with an enthusiasm and drive that's contagious," he said. "People are dialed into what is going on with the greater Air Force and extremely proud of what they do. That was evident from the wing level all the way down to the airmen."

Chief Scott's itinerary this week kept him busy. He met with Col. "Tanker" Snyder, 6th Air Mobility Wing commander, Command Chief Master Sgt. Lewis E. Monroe, Command Chief of the 6th AMW, Lieutenant Col. Gerard A. Bigos, from Special Operations Command, and attended the Airman Leadership School graduation Thursday night.

Chief Scott also took a helicopter tour of the base and the greater Tampa area with the Tampa Police Department Monday. Paul Frederico and Jeff Gray, both with the TPD, used the time during the flight to tell Chief Scott about how seamlessly the TPD and the personnel on base have coordinated their efforts since the terrorist attacks Sept. 11, 2001.

Chief Scott said capabilities of the security forces personnel at Macdill and the continuous working relationship they have with the local community set the example for squadrons around the Air Force to emulate.

That future has a lot in store for the security forces said Chief Scott, and better training is at the top of the agenda. "Within the next five years, we will have fully mission ready SF airmen on the street when they arrive on their new installation, meeting 100 percent of the training requirements." His agenda goes on to include career progression on a broader scale than it has been developed in the past.

With 25 years of experience under his belt, he has plenty of advice for airmen who are in their first term of enlistment in the Air Force.

"The clearest advice I can give someone who is undecided about whether to continue is never close any doors to yourself, especially when it comes to completing your professional military education," said Chief Scott. "Some opportunities may be closed to you as a result of not doing the things you should have done while you were here."

Chief Scott, who is stationed at the Pentagon, said he originally joined the Air Force for the educational benefits but never expected his career to go beyond his first enlistment.

"After I re-enlisted, I continued to learn more skills, continued to get promoted and a new sense of commitment was formed over the years," he said. "But now here I am plugging away, and there is a very high probability I'll finish up with 30 (years in the Air Force)." Although, he doesn't plan to spend his retirement in a rocking chair.

"Once I decide to retire, I think I'll enter teaching in some capacity. I definitely want to be involved in the community," he said. Politics might even be a possibility. "Maybe even mayor of a small town," he said.

Until then his bottom line is to "develop the world's most respected security force, anytime, anywhere."

 

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