DM welcomes new command chief

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jasmyne Bridgers-Matos
  • 355 Wing Public Affairs

June 2023 marked a significant transition for the 355th Wing as Chief Master Sgt. Michael Becker assumed the role of command chief. 

As command chief, Becker advises the installation commander and staff on mission effectiveness, professional development, military readiness, training, utilization, health, morale, and welfare of the command’s 6,200 enlisted Airmen.  

“We are thrilled to have Chief Becker here as part of our command team,” said Col. Scott Mills, 355th Wing commander. “He is here to FIGHT, and I’m excited to see what we can accomplish together.” 

Raised in a military family, Becker's passion for service and dedication to protecting the United States led him to join the Air Force in February 1999 as an explosive ordnance disposal technician. Throughout his career, he has displayed a strategic understanding of the global threat environment and the critical importance of the Air Force's mission in maintaining national security.

With a career spanning 24 years, Becker brings a wealth of leadership experience to his new position. Having served in various leadership roles at different levels within the Air Force, including the position of Command Chief Master Sergeant of the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, Becker is well-equipped to guide the Desert Lightning Team toward achieving their mission objectives.

Having previously worked in the realm of strategic nuclear deterrence, Becker brings a unique perspective on the threats posed by adversaries and the significance of combat readiness. 

“In the missile world it is clear how and why each and every Airman is connected to that no-fail mission, 24/7/365,” said Becker. “My experience in that mission has helped me understand the threats that our adversaries pose to our way of life and to the stability and safety of people around the world.”

Now entrusted with leading the 355th Wing, Becker emphasizes the importance of translating his strategic perspective into the wing's mission of Rescue & Attack. 

“Our job is to provide combat ready Airmen and capability to any Combatant Commander in any area of responsibility at any time,” said Becker.

Becker stresses the need for demonstrating combat readiness to make adversaries think twice before challenging the United States. 

“Again this is not negotiable,” said Becker. “The fate of the world is at stake and failure is not an option.”

To achieve these goals, Becker recognizes the fundamental importance of creating an environment where every Airman feels respected, protected, and connected. 

He believes that fostering a culture that values each individual's contribution, regardless of their uniformed or civilian status, is crucial. Becker sets high standards for the Desert Lightning Team, expecting them to treat one another with respect, safeguard each other's well-being, and build strong connections as part of the greater team.

Drawing from his extensive career, Becker understands the impact of leadership on an organization. He acknowledges both his successes and regrets, emphasizing the importance of continuous learning. 

"I've had amazing leaders and I've had poor leaders,” said Becker. “I've made good decisions that I'm very proud of, and I've made bad decisions that I regret. I've learned from all of this. I learn every day."

His commitment to growth and learning is evident in his enthusiasm for engaging with Airmen at all levels. While Becker recognizes the importance of administrative tasks, his true passion resides in engaging with Airmen.

"Nobody makes Chief so they can send out emails and manage spreadsheets," Becker said. "The daily, face-to-face conversations with our Airmen are what get me out of bed every morning." 

He values connecting with the newest Airmen in the First Term Airmen Center and future supervisors in the Airman Leadership School, recognizing the significance of genuine discussions and personal connections.

Becker wants every member of the Desert Lightning Team to know that he is present, engaged, and approachable. Regardless of rank or position, he is eager to connect with his team and encourages Airmen to approach him with any concerns or ideas they may have.

“I am the same person whether I’m talking to a Senator, a General, our Wing Commander or our newest Airman,” said Becker. “Please come up to me and have a chat about whatever is on your mind. I’m here for you all.”

As Chief Master Sgt. Michael Becker takes the reins as the 355th Wing command chief, the Desert Lightning Team can expect a leader who brings a strategic vision, a commitment to combat readiness, and a genuine dedication to the well-being of every Airman.