Heavy lifting: NASIC Command Chief on challenges, opportunities

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Matthew Lotz
  • National Air and Space Intelligence Center Public Affairs
Nearly every morning before sunrise, Chief Master Sgt. Michelle Jackson is at the gym with her husband, striving to break personal weight lifting records as part of her daily workout.

After completing her morning fitness routine, Jackson makes her way to the National Air and Space Intelligence Center where she serves as the center’s command chief. She greets the security forces defender with a smile and steps into the building, ready to tackle any challenge thrown her way.

“If I don’t get my workout in the morning, I don’t feel balanced and I can’t be the command chief our NASIC personnel deserve,” Jackson said. “Weight lifting has been a part of my regimen ever since I was a teenager.”

Jackson grew up in San Angelo, Texas, and always wanted to experience something bigger in her life. She knew she needed a change of scenery, so she joined the U.S. Air Force in September 1994 as an Information Manager.

“I absolutely love being in the Air Force family,” Jackson said. “The bonds we have in the Armed Forces is like no other and I don’t believe the connections we have with one another are even possible in the corporate world.”

Jackson’s initial goal when she entered the Air Force was to make master sergeant and retire at 20 years. She said this changed with the support of her husband and senior leaders, and the admiration she felt toward her fellow Airmen.

“I’ve worked with great leaders who poured a lot into developing and molding me and I owe them a great deal,” Jackson said. “My husband, a retired chief, has mentored and supported me since I was a senior airman. Even in retirement, he continues to motivate and push me to help make me a better person for our Airmen.”

After 22 years and 10 duty assignments taking her across the globe, Jackson recently joined the intelligence community as the NASIC command chief supporting more than 3,100 personnel.

“Often times we may not know why we are in a particular place in our lives, but I’m a firm believer that the Air Force positions us where we are most needed,” she said. “Getting to know the intelligence community may be a challenge, but all challenges are simply lessons which ultimately prepare me to better help our Airmen.”

According to Jackson, the most important and rewarding part of her day is time spent listening and talking with NASIC Airmen, learning what they have on their minds and how she can make their time here better.

“Explain your day-to-day mission to me and help me better understand any challenges or ideas you have for improvement,” Jackson said. “We have phenomenal Airmen who are absolutely crushing the mission day in and day out in both support and operations mission sets.”