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Chief Master Sgt. Rory Wicks
Chief Master Sgt. Rory Wicks, 379th Air Expeditionary Wing command chief, is celebrated for his 30 years of service in the Air Force on Mar. 28, 2014, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. Service members and civilians gathered to host a barbeque in his honor where he was presented with several tokens of appreciation and gifts from various professional and private organizations on base, a tribute the impact he has had on so many lives. Wicks, best known for his energetic “HUA,” will have his official retirement ceremony upon his return to Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. this month. (U.S. Air Force photo/Maj. Nicole David)
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Command chief imparts words of wisdom to grateful wing

Posted 4/4/2014   Updated 4/4/2014 Email story   Print story


by Maj. Nicole David
379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

4/4/2014 - AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar -- Command chief master sergeants serve as senior advisors to commanders at key levels, but are also responsible for the morale, welfare, training and professional growth of a unit's enlisted Airmen. Chief Master Sgt. Rory Wicks has done just that over his 30 years of service, the past four years as a command chief, serving the last 22 months as the command chief of the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing, leaving an indelible impression with so many people at Al Udeid Air Base and throughout the Air Force.

Wicks grew up as an Air Force dependent, his father retiring as a chief in civil engineering. And while he knew he wanted to serve like his father, he recalls the transition from dependent to Airmen not being an easy one.

"As a dependent, I could do what I wanted," said Wicks. "But then once I enlisted, I became a part of the process, not just a benefactor and that was eye-opening for me."

Wicks grew up in the security forces career field, as evident by his energetic "HUA," which is his verbal signature. For Wicks, he doesn't just say this to you because he heard and understood you; he doesn't just say this to ensure you heard and understood him; he says it as a term of endearment. Anyone will say a "HUA" from Chief Wicks is as good as getting coined!

A humble man, Wicks truly appreciates the mentors that invested in him throughout his career that he claims saw something bigger in him than he even knew existed. They pushed him to a new level, encouraging him to get involved with different organizations, make himself visible, and take on greater responsibility.

"I feel very blessed and the Air Force and all the people that mentored me and all the things I learned from my enlisted and commissioned brothers and sisters have made me who I am today," said Wicks.

According to Wicks, the depth of a person's character is not grown through sunshine, but rather by the successes navigating through the rough storms. It is not easy as a young Airman and with rank comes responsibility making it even more difficult to lead and serve others.

"The enlisted and officer force come into the Air Force the same way, with a willingness to serve," commented Wicks.

Wicks challenges officers to feed the troops and challenge them to produce. "Get to know your Airmen and see what they can offer because they are a product of their past and are very capable; keep an open-mind."
For the enlisted force, Wicks offers, "Demand to be fed by your leaders. Be a sponge, stay hungry and have the right attitude to achieve success."

Chief Rory Wicks embodies the essence of a leader. He has left his impression on so many, and officers and enlisted of all ages have learned from serving with him.

His parting words: "If you believe you will achieve. If you doubt, you go without. My mom always said that to me when I was growing up and I have used this to keep moving forward. Maybe it can help others to keep moving forward too."

Heard - Understood - Acknowledged!

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