Reflecting on a distinguished career: Chief Master Sergeant Jeffrey Griffith shares insights and memories

  • Published
  • By Airman Jazmin Walraven

As United States Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Jeffrey Griffith, Space Launch Delta 45’s Security Forces Squadron senior enlisted leader, prepares to leave active-duty service, I, Airman First Class Jazmin Walraven, SLD45 45th SFS flight armorer, was able to sit down for an exclusive interview to reflect on the 25 and a half year journey that led him to this momentous occasion.

During the reflection he imparted wisdom garnered from his experiences and offers a glimpse into his plans for retirement:


Amn Walraven: Given the changes within the Air Force from when you were an Airman, what advice would you give to this new generation?

CMSgt Griffith: The Air Force is always changing and evolving, the new generations bring new ideas and problem-solving skills. Be proud of your generation and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Amn Walraven: Did you ever think you would become a CMSgt when you were an Airman? What were your initial goals when first joining the military?

CMSgt Griffith: I never thought I would become a chief master sergeant when I first joined. Initially, I joined for my wife and pursued my associate and bachelor’s degrees in business management. I was only going to take each contract one at a time as they came.

Amn Walraven: Do you have any advice on how to make the rank of CMSgt?

CMSgt Griffith: Take each stripe at a time and master the rank you are already at. Never look to making the next rank because it will come naturally as you master the current stripe. Take care of your troops, and they will take care of you!

Amn Walraven: What kept you motivated to stay in for almost 26 years? Were there any moments when you wanted to quit?

CMSgt Griffith: There were always good days and bad days along with long taxing shifts throughout my career but remembering my 'why' for joining and understanding the importance of what I do every day kept me motivated to always push forward through the excruciating challenges.

Amn Walraven: What was your favorite base assignment?

CMSgt Griffith: It's a hard question, but I've enjoyed being at Osan Air Base, Korea the most. Besides the location of the base, the reason for this is I was always reminded of the mission every day. The 'real' enemy was only miles away, and that was the factor that kept me motivated to focus on the importance of my job.

Amn Walraven: What was a memory from the military that you will always carry with you, and what experience did you gain/learn from it?

CMSgt Griffith: Reuniting with my family after being gone on a deployment or assignment overseas taught me to cherish my loved ones and not take them for granted in my day-to-day life.

Amn Walraven: What are some tips to give to the airmen in service with families and kids?

CMSgt Griffith: Learn to leave work at work, especially if you've had a long, hard day, and prioritize spending time with your family when you're home with them.

Amn Walraven: What's the first thing you're going to do when you retire?

CMSgt Griffith: I have a trip planned to the Dominican Republic with my wife to celebrate our 25th anniversary and decompress from military life. I plan to come back to work at Patrick as the Deputy Defense Force commander in the Security Forces Squadron!


In reflecting on Chief Griffith's illustrious career, one cannot help but be inspired by the unwavering dedication, resilience, and commitment to service that he embodies.

His insights and reflections resonate deeply with me, as he was my first SEL, he offered invaluable guidance not only to Airmen past, present, and future, but also to those of us who seek to understand the essence of leadership within the United States Air Force.

Chief Griffith's legacy leaves an indelible mark not only on the institution he served but also on the hearts and minds of all who have had the privilege of learning from his experiences.