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Get to know the 33rd FW Command Chief

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Christian Corley
  • 33rd Fighter Wing

Meet U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Kelvin Hatcher, the 33rd Fighter Wing command chief. Hatcher hails from Georgia and joined the Air Force in September of 2000. 

“I am an advisor to the wing commander and an advocate for our enlisted force to ensure that the policies put in place make sense to our folks,” said Hatcher. “I spent a couple of years in college, but because of the area that I grew up in, there weren't a lot of job opportunities. My older sister was in the Air Force prior to me, so speaking with her gave me motivation to get away and see the world. She is the primary reason that I ended up joining and I’ve enjoyed it ever since.”

Hatcher arrived at the 33rd Fighter Wing in June, 2023.

“My very first impression of the 33rd FW is when I walked through the door, I saw the etched layout of the F-35 into the granite tile, and everything surrounding it. I look at how an organization presents itself, so what I saw was professionalism and pride,” said Hatcher. “Very soon after, I got to see the load competition. The energy and pride that people took into their job was my very first impression. I want to continue to grow that across all of our formations so people know they belong to a professional organization and they can be proud of it.”

To begin his 23-year career, Hatcher was first assigned to Kadena Air Base, Japan. 

“I absolutely loved it and immersed myself in the culture while I was there,” said Hatcher. “I played on a local Japanese baseball team where I was the only American. Learning the people, culture and language was appealing to me.”

After Kadena, Hatcher had multiple assignments.

“F.E. Warren, Wyoming, Minot, North Dakota and Fairchild Air Force Base, in Washington,” said Hatcher. “I went to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, and did instructor duty at Sheppard prior to arriving at Eglin.”

While he has been to multiple bases, one of Hatcher’s biggest assignments was to Capitol Hill just before he was promoted to Master Sgt.

“I spent four years in Washington D.C., working in the White House, at the White House Military Office during the second term of the Obama administration,” said Hatcher. “It gave me a perspective of our entire government."

This experience taught Hatcher about the importance of relationships.

“Building relationships and knowing the people that I worked around was the biggest thing that I learned, ” said Hatcher. “When working in a joint environment, every service is represented there and we often say that we speak a different language. I believe we are clearing that up with some of our purple book and joint-team initiatives which provide more operability from that perspective.”

During his time at Capitol Hill, Hatcher learned lessons about leadership.

“Working with the Navy was when I got exposed to humility, being approachable and leading with passion and vigor within everything you do, which can be carried over into the command chief role,” said Hatcher. “Those things really tied the knot, which put me on the trajectory to lead in different environments and build cultures where people are accepted, knowing that they belong.” 

Hatcher credits many supervisors as being great throughout his career, but one sticks out to him.

“Chief Master Sgt. retired Manny Piniero, the diamond one for Chief Wright when he was the CMSAF, had a herculean attitude,” said Hatcher. “He could walk into a room and automatically connect with people. He’s been an inspiration to me and a mentor of sorts, who has really given me a model of what leadership should be like.”

Hatcher describes him and his family as huge sports fans and athletes.

“My wife played college basketball,” said Hatcher. “We enjoy sports. We love watching basketball together, attending games and venues. I grew up in Georgia, so the Bulldogs are at the top of my list. I’m also an Atlanta Braves and Falcons fan. Most importantly, we enjoy laughing and living life to the fullest.”

The support from his family drives him to do what he does. 

“They have been my anchor in everything,” said Hatcher. “One of my daughters is a senior in college, and the other two are a senior and freshman in high school. After 22 years, there’s a large number of TDYs and deployments, and they’ve been the stronghold through all of it. They’ve been super supportive of me throughout my career. They are the reason that I do what I do. 

Hatcher expects Airmen to R.E.A.C.H. 

“R.E.A.C.H. means responsibility, expectation, attitude, character and health,” said Hatcher.  “I believe that there is no such thing as luck, there is preparation and opportunity. If I was to give any advice to an Airman, I would say to be open to feedback and to listen.”