JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. — The Space Force hosted its first-ever Guardian Field Forum at the Gen. Jacob E. Smart Conference Center at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, March 21-24, 2023.
The four-day professional development forum allowed competitively selected Guardians made up of company grade officers, non-commissioned officers or civilians to provide feedback, recommendations and innovative ideas directly to their peers and senior leaders.
“Fifty-nine Guardians and Airmen participated in the first Guardian Field Forum,” said Chief of Space Operations Gen. Chance Saltzman. “I was incredibly impressed and inspired with their recommendations.”
At this forum, teams nominated by their respective Deltas, presented their most important issues or recommendations to the other Deltas. The group voted to determine the top themes that had the most overlap throughout the 31 briefings they exchanged with each other. The three themes that the teams selected were: Building Guardians, Personnel Management, and Holistic Approach to Operations.
Some of the topics discussed included:
- An approach to streamline administrative support for Guardians stationed at geographically separated units;
- A proposal for actions to improve the transparency and prioritization of assignment opportunities; and,
- Initiatives to strengthen the connection between operations, readiness, and lifecycle sustainment.
The teams collaboratively incorporated their recommendations into three briefings that were then presented to leaders during the Space Force Senior Leader Summit. The three Guardians who presented will act as mentors for next year’s Guardian Field Forum, passing the torch to the next group of Guardians.
“The Guardian Field Forum was an amazing opportunity to present ideas to senior Space Force leadership,” said Master Sgt. Christopher Mullens, who presented for Space Operations Command’s Space Delta 7. “To be given the chance to speak directly with senior leadership is lifechanging. I can’t wait to come back next year to mentor Guardians to innovate, cultivate and inspire ideas that will benefit our force for years to come.”
During the forum, Lt. Gen. Nina Armagno, Space Force director of staff and senior Guardian mentor, spent an hour with the Guardians, providing mentorship and answering questions.
“Mentorship is my passion,” Armagno said. “Having the opportunity to speak with these junior Guardians is a chance to give them examples of things I have learned in my career, like pushing the boundaries to innovate. Embracing a creative and innovative spirit is important for Guardians as we move forward as a service.”
In a note to all Guardians, Saltzman reiterated the importance of “unleashing the creativity” of the work force, not just during events like this forum, but through everyday feedback at all levels of leadership.
“Our efforts to amplify the Guardian spirit must be continuous,” Saltzman said. “This is the type of connection and engagement that will catalyze innovation in our service.”
By SAF/PA Staff Writer, Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs
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