General Mike “Mobile” Holmes is the Commander, Air Combat Command, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. As the commander, he is responsible for organizing, training, equipping and maintaining combat-ready air, space, cyber and intelligence forces for rapid deployment and employment while ensuring strategic air defense forces are ready to meet the challenges of peacetime air sovereignty and wartime defense. The command operates more than 1,000 aircraft, 35 wings, 11 bases, and 1,348 units at more than 300 operating locations worldwide with 159,000 total force military and civilian personnel.

As the Combat Air Forces lead agent, ACC develops strategy, doctrine, concepts, tactics, and procedures for air-, space-, and cyber-power employment. The command provides conventional and information warfare forces to all unified commands to ensure air, space, cyber, and information superiority for warfighters and national decision-makers. The command can also be called upon to assist national agencies with intelligence, surveillance and crisis response capabilities.

General Holmes entered the Air Force through Officer Training School in 1981 after receiving a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Tennessee. He has commanded the 27th Fighter Squadron, the 14th Operations Group, the 4th Fighter Wing and the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing. He has served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and on headquarters staffs of the United States Air Force, U.S. European Command and Pacific Air Forces. Prior to his current position, he served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Plans and Requirements, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Arlington, Va.

He is a command pilot with more than 4,000 hours, including over 530 combat hours in the F-15A/B/C/D/E, and has also flown the T/AT-38, T-37, and T-1A.

Chief Master Sergeant Hope L. Skibitsky is the Command Chief, 27th Special Operations Wing, Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico. The wing has 6,000 active and civilian Airmen and joint partners directly supporting United States Special Operations Command operations across five combatant commands and 6 continents. Chief Skibitsky is the senior enlisted advisor to the Commander on all aspects of employment, training, readiness, resilience, and development of the force.

Chief Skibitsky also serves as the Command Senior Enlisted Leader for Joint Special Operations Air Component-Central, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. In this role she advises the commander on the employment, readiness, and resiliency of 700 Special Operations Aviation personnel from all branches of the Armed Forces. Joint Special Operations Air Component-Central has operational responsibility for all Special Operations Aviation across the Central Command area of responsibility.

Hailing from Ranger, Texas, Chief Skibitsky entered the Air Force in September 1995. She enrolled in the Medical Technician Apprentice technical training course at Sheppard AFB, Texas in October of 1995 and graduated Phase II in April of 1996. Her background includes duties in Education and Training, Health and Wellness, and Base Honor Guard. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Resources Management, through Ashford University. She is a certified facilitator in multiple professional development training courses, and is passionate about the development of Airmen at all levels. Her assignments include bases in Texas, California, and England as well as multiple deployments in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

Chief Mott

Chief Master Sergeant Raymond “Kenny” Mott.  Kenny is the Command Chief Master Sergeant, 552nd Air Control Wing, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma. In this position, Chief Mott advises the commander on the health, welfare, morale, mission effectiveness, and proper utilization of more than 4,000 men and women responsible for Air Combat Command’s fleet of E-3 Airborne Warning & Control System (AWACS) aircraft and ground-based Control and Reporting Centers (CRC) supporting combatant commanders worldwide. He is the commander’s primary adviser on all enlisted issues. His focus is on taking care of the Airmen, so they can take care of the mission of the Air Force’s only integrated Air Battle Management Wing.  Chief Mott describes why G.R.I.T. is so important to developing leaders and the importance of connection. He also talks about the mistakes he made as a young Airmen and how he used them for motivation and to shape his leadership style.

Chief Mott entered the Air Force March 1993. His background includes various assignments as an operator, instructor and evaluator of airborne mission systems. Chief Mott has served at bases in Oklahoma, Mississippi, Texas, California and Virginia. He is a Chief Enlisted Aviator with 270 combat flight hours, 755 combat support flight hours, and 2754 operational flight hours in the AWACS E-3 B/C and KC-135R Project Speckled Trout. Chief Mott has experience in squadron, group, wing and Major Command leadership positions. He assumed his current duties in October 2018.

Chief Master Sergeant JoAnne S. Bass is the Command Chief Master Sergeant for Second Air Force at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. She is the senior enlisted leader and advisor to the commander on all matters impacting the professional development, proper utilization, and the readiness of the enlisted corps. The command consists of five Training Wings, 18 Groups with 76 Operating Locations Worldwide, in support of 13,000 Enlisted, Officers, Civilians, Contractors and 36,000 Basic Trainees per year. In addition, Second Air Force is home to more than 265 Air Force Specialties through 3,400 courses graduating 150,000 Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and international students annually in various fields including financial management, security forces, cyber, personnel, weather, civil engineering, aircraft maintenance, medical, avionics, security forces, space and missile operations/maintenance, and multiple intelligence disciplines, while providing 93% of the Air Force’s Initial Skills Training.

Chief Bass was raised as an Army dependent, living in several overseas and stateside locations, prior to entering the Air Force in March 1993. She has held a variety of leadership positions serving at the squadron, group, wing, major command and Headquarters Air Force levels with significant joint service and special operations experience. Chief Bass has participated in several operations and exercises as well as deployments in direct support of Operation Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Prior to this assignment, she served as the Chief of Air Force Enlisted Developmental Education located at the Pentagon in Washington D.C.

Colonel “Trout” Marshall is one of the deepest thinkers I know. Although we have not been stationed together for over two decades, our paths crossed a couple of times.  Each encounter reminded me that we are lucky to have the world’s most intelligent and caring leaders serving our country.  His eclectic experiences in the intelligence community, US Navy and US Air Force have given him an enviable perspective. He shares his thoughts and experiences on professional development and exportable techniques for effective coaching for succession and deliberate leadership training.  Colonel Marshall is the Commander of the 201 st Combat Operations Squadron, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH), Hawaii. He is responsible for the training, development, and mentorship of all Combat Operations Squadron personnel delivering combat power through the Air Operations Center (AOC) Weapon System.

Colonel Marshall graduated from the University of Washington and was commissioned through the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program in 1998. Subsequently, Colonel Marshall graduated Undergraduate Air Battle Manager Training and was qualified as an Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) Air Weapons Officer and eventually an Electronic Combat Officer. Before transitioning to the Air National Guard in 2002, Colonel Marshall deployed in support of Counterdrug Operations, as well as, Operations SOUTHERN WATCH and ENDURING FREEDOM.

Colonel Marshall joined the 112th Air Operations Squadron (AOS), Pennsylvania Air National Guard then briefly transferred to the Arizona Air National Guard from 2006—2009. While in Arizona, Colonel Marshall greatly enjoyed training enlisted Weapons Directors as the Chief of Training Development, then Chief of Training, for the USAF Weapons Director School, Luke AFB, Ariz. Returning to the 112th in 2009, Colonel Marshall returned to his AOC roots prior to assuming duties as Commander.  During the Guard portion of his career, Colonel Marshall has deployed in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM and the predecessor to what became Operation INHERENT RESOLVE.

Lieutenant Colonel Blom believes that aspiring leaders should place less emphasis on trendy leadership books and more emphasis on achieving personal and organizational clarity.  

Personal clarity begins with rigorous self-reflection:  before you can lead others, you must first be demonstrate the ability to lead yourself.  Aspiring leaders should ask themselves “Would you follow you?”  They must identify their personal development goals, areas for growth, and blind spots.  Once they have achieved this personal clarity, they must then create a personal-development plan to become the leader they envision!  

Second, the aspiring leader must achieve organizational clarity.  They need to ask themselves, “What makes my organization unique?”  Once they have identified the needs, strengths and weaknesses, and culture of their organization, they must develop a priority-based plan to achieve the organization’s mission!   

Lieutenant Colonel Blom is currently the commander of the 5th Expeditionary Airborne Command and Control Squadron, in Kadena, Japan.  He is a graduate of the US Air Force School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS), US Air Force Weapons School, US Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC), Air Command and Staff College (ACSC), and Squadron Officer School (SOS).  He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Florida State University, a Master’s of Philosophy in Military Strategy from Air University, and a Master’s of Science in Aviation Management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Additionally, he has served in the Strategic Plans, Programs, and Requirements Directorate (A-5/8) at Headquarters US Air Force, Washington, DC, and has authored numerous articles on military operations, leadership, and personnel issues.

Suicide leaves many victims alive.  CMSgt Laurie Bach is a leader, mentor…and a survivor of suicide. Her story is one of tragedy, resilience and rebuilding.  She is a 24-year Air Force veteran who dealt with her husband’s suicide and went through what so many have gone through yet so many do not know. We are honored she chose to embrace her vulnerability and share her story with us.

Chief Master Sergeant Laurie “Perp” Bach is the Group Superintendent of the United States Air Force Weapons School. She is the principle advisor to the Weapons School Commandant, 21 Squadron Commanders, and 750 military, civilian and contractor personnel located at Nellis AFB and 7 geographically separated units. Laurie’s experiences, personality, and reputation for developing leaders and building resiliency bring a unique experience for Rhone Coaching & Consulting clients and teammates.

“Perp” served in various duties in the Command and Control Battle Management Operator career field. Throughout her career, she has filled a myriad of roles including additional duty First Sergeant and Squadron Superintendent.

For our listeners who are struggling with thoughts of suicide, are survivors of suicide, are concerned about a loved one or just want more information on this enemy.

  • National Suicide Prevention  Lifeline – 800-273-8255
  • Crisis text line – text  “HOME”  to 741741
  • Safevoice program – 1-833-216-7233
  • Military and veterans survivors of loved ones to suicide – dial 211 or text zip to 898211
  • Veterans crisis line – text 838255 or call 800-799-4889
  • Leadership/supervisors/mhf/mlfc/chaplain/military onesource

Colonel Edward G. Goebel Jr. is the Commander of the 461st Air Control Wing, Robins Air Force Base, GA. He is responsible for the worldwide employment of the E-8 Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System aircraft and the Deployable Air Traffic Control and Landing System. The wing trains, mobilizes and deploys combat mission ready aircraft, aircrews and support personnel to designated theaters of operation, and conducts sustained operations providing uninterrupted command, control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance in support of the joint force commander.

Col Goebel was a distinguished graduate of AFROTC at the University of South Carolina in 1998. Col Goebel is a Master Air Battle Manager with more than 2,800 hours in E-3A/B/C/G and E-8C aircraft spanning 355 combat and 370 combat support hours. He has flown and supported numerous operations including NORTHERN WATCH, SOUTHERN WATCH, JOINT GUARDIAN, NOBLE EAGLE, IRAQI FREEDOM, ENDURING FREEDOM, NEW DAWN, ODYSSEY DAWN, and UNIFIED PROTECTOR. He is married to the former Cori Donley of Charleston, South Carolina and they have one son, Johnathan.

Colonel Candice Pipes is currently Chief, Manpower and Personnel Division, US Special Operations Command J1 Directorate.  She served most recently as the Deputy Chief, Military Compensation Policy Division, Headquarters Air Force. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in English in 1998 from United States Air Force Academy, a Master’s degree in English from Louisiana Tech University in 2004 and her PhD in English from The Ohio State University in 2010. 

Colonel Pipes began her military career at the United States Air Force Academy in the admissions office working diversity recruiting. She then entered her primary career field as a personnel officer at Kirtland AFB, NM, Kunsan AB, Korea and Barksdale AFB, LA where she led fighter, supply, and maintenance squadrons as a squadron section commander and served as the 2nd Bomb Wing’s executive officer. After her tour as an instructor in the Department of English and Fine Arts and completion of her doctorate, Colonel Pipes served as Commander, AFIT Force Support, Head of the Department of English and Fine Arts at the United States Air Force Academy and Commander of the 30th Force Support Squadron at Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA. She is married to Lt Col (ret) Steve Pipes and has three children: Thair (22), Sienna (10), and SJ (8).