Leadership now hiring: Rank not required

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Tori Schultz
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
“I just stepped up and took responsibility until we could resolve our manning issues,” said Senior Airman Michael Lewis, crew chief assigned to the 6th Maintenance Squadron (MXS).

Every day, Airmen step out of their comfort zones and assume leadership roles to provide support for the 6th Air Mobility Wing’s aerial refueling mission. Sometimes that means managing personnel, equipment, and ensuring the task at hand is completed timely.

When the consolidated tool kit (CTK) shop NCO in charge accepted a seat at the NCO Academy, Lewis immediately assumed the role. Drawing from his years’ experience and knowledge, he maintained the shop’s performance and provided tools to maintainers during periodical inspections for the KC-135 Stratotanker.

“I managed six personnel, over 2,900 tools and equipment, a bench stock with over 500 items, eight vehicles, and seven programs and ensured everyone had what they needed to complete any job on the aircraft,” said Lewis.

Lewis said the transition was smooth because of his cohesive and reliable team.

“It helped having people I trusted to get the job done,” said Lewis. He explained that on a typical day he received turnover from the previous shift, took inventory for the shop, and performed inspections on equipment when they were due.

During this time, the Unit Effectiveness Inspection team selected Lewis to help fix discrepancies found during an inspection. Lewis created a maintenance group checklist for CTK personnel to follow when inspecting tool boxes to lower the fail rate.

“He knew exactly what to do in any situation that came up, and has helped run the shop for about three years,” said Senior Airman Austin Patten, crew chief assigned to the 6th MXS. “He’s the go-to guy in CTK.”