Chief's View

Chief Master Sgt. Ericka Kelly, command chief master sergeant, Air Force Reserve Command

Chief Master Sgt. Ericka Kelly, command chief master sergeant, Air Force Reserve Command

Citizen Airman/Feb. 2017 -- Q: What is your greatest failure, and what did you learn from it?
A: No one likes to talk about failure. Everyone has been unsuccessful at some time in his or her life. What matters most is how you deal with that failure. First, I won’t say it’s my greatest failure, but I learned the most from my experiences as a young girl. Growing up I was given negative labels and was told by some very in influential people in my life that I was not good enough. This started becoming my truth and affected my self-confidence. I was told, “You are not good enough” and, “You’ll never get it.” I started to believe those statements, and THAT was the failure!

Eventually, I began to fight back. I started listening to my own positive self-talk. I was no longer quiet and chose to prove I WAS “good enough” and that I could “get it!” I learned that my thoughts can control my success. Now, as I go through life, I recognize those failures are part of my story. They’ve made me stronger. I deal with letdowns and disappointments differently. I see them as a challenge to grow stronger and an opportunity to help others.

Q: What is your personal mission statement and why?
A: I have two. My first is “bring it.” Saying “bring it” is my mechanism to face fear. I use it to think back to my life lessons and use that foundation as a shield to be prepared and ready for any challenge. We all have the potential to achieve great things in life. It is important that we aim at trying new things, even if it means facing our fears. If you have the drive, intellect and skills, I say “bring it” to the table. Embrace the challenge.

My second is “make every day count.” This originates from fully comprehending the daily sacrifice it takes to serve in the military. This sacrifice is not one I make alone but with my family and civilian employer as well. Every day we put this uniform on translates into us not being with our family or co-workers. So make it count! Otherwise, why do it?

Q: If you could choose a superhero power, who or what would it be and why?
A: There are several different superheroes who have pretty cool powers. Trying to choose between those who are out
of this world and those who have superhuman powers is difficult. I feel supernatural heroes come with their own special capabilities that allow them to save the world on a daily basis, whereas human-like superheroes use their skills, talents and technical knowledge to save the day.

Knowing this, I would choose a superhuman power that knows and understands technology. I am not much of a “techy” person; thus, superpowers in technology would be a welcomed gift. Out of all the superhero powers out there, I would love to have the same technological knowledge and power as Iron Man. On the other hand, the Powerpuff girls and Thor are pretty cool, too!