AU command chief discusses education in his life

Chief Master Sgt. Brye McMillon, Air University command chief, recently arrived at Maxwell after being stationed with the 18th Air Force at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. The new command chief plans to help Airmen focus on their education. (Air Force photo by Scott Knuteson)

Chief Master Sgt. Brye McMillon, Air University command chief, recently arrived at Maxwell after being stationed with the 18th Air Force at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. The new command chief plans to help Airmen focus on their education. (Air Force photo by Scott Knuteson)

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- The intellectual and leadership center of the Air Force has a new command chief who is ecstatic to be involved in the education of Airmen because, "we are at a time in our Air Force when education has become a very critical aspect of our enlisted development. Air University stands for education."

Air University has acquired Chief Master Sgt. Brye McMillon, who came here from 18th Air Force at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. The transition, he said, was wonderful.

"When I was deployed and in other settings, I was somewhat closer to the operational aspect," he said. "Here, I must remain connected in a way to the operational mission, and help Air University educate Airmen to perform better in the operational mission. How do we enhance the skills of our Airmen to function in the type of environment I just left? I'm in somewhat of a preparation environment now."

The new chief plans to build rapport with Air University's personnel and "make sure they have an opportunity to comment on whatever issues they see as important."

Chief McMillon said that, among many other things, one of his goals is to complete some of those programs that were begun by the previous AU command chief.

Chief McMillon, who enlisted in 1982, said after finishing high school in Orrville, Ala., a town a little more than an hour east of Maxwell, he went to New York to work for about year.

"I had a brother in the Navy, who gave me some wise counsel," the chief said. "I grew up in a structured home; I needed structure, and the Air Force was the place to give that to me."

Since that time, Chief McMillon went on to further his education while in the Air Force, and earned his bachelor's degree in 2003. This endeavor was quickly followed by a stint as the command chief for the 416th Air Expeditionary Group in Uzbekistan.

Now, he hopes to help Airmen focus on their own education and prepare for whatever role they may play.

Regarding the importance of education, the chief said that education "teaches commitment, dedication, loyalty, and all those things that make you stick to a project until it's done. It broadens your horizons."