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Todd Simmons talks development with Team Kadena

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Sebastian Romawac
  • 18th Wing Public Affairs

Chief Master Sgt. (Ret.) Todd Simmons, former Chief Master Sergeant of Air University, held multiple seminars at Kadena Air Base, Japan, July 21-22, 2022 to speak to Airmen of all enlisted ranks about building resiliency and leadership qualities in order to accomplish professional and personal goals.

Simmons began one seminar by asking the Airmen in the room if they had anyone in Okinawa that they could trust completely. The room was split with half of the Airmen’s hands remaining down. Simmons encouraged the Airmen to have more of an “open heart” when building their relationships in the U.S. Air Force.

“There’s someone in this room,” Simmons said. “There’s someone on this base. There’s someone on this island that you can trust.  There’s someone who is willing to be that person for you, but you have to allow people the opportunity to be that person for you.”

Simmons said that a trusting relationship with his First Sergeant in 1995 was what saved him from suicidal thoughts and propelled him to continue his U.S. Air Force journey.

His journey led to a total of 25 years of service in the U.S. Air Force. In addition to proper, trusting relationships, Simmons also attributed challenging goal-setting as an important aspect of his continued years of service.

“I will set a scary goal, assess the risk and execute,” Simmons said. “Once you know what you are capable of, you’ll be able to overcome many challenges that may seem insurmountable.”

Once Simmons’ seminar came to a close, several Airmen approached him to thank him for his guidance and advice. Airmen explained their personal obstacles to him and how his advice will help them overcome them.

“I learned so much from Mr. Simmons’ seminar that I will be using in my own Air Force career,” said Senior Airman Jose Fernandez, 18th Civil Engineer Squadron power production journeyman. “The lesson that hit me the most is that even when things get dark, you can always bounce back and have a fruitful career.”