White Rectangle

Chief Master Sgt. Jelinski-Hall visits Nevada and leaves a lasting impact

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Paula Macomber
  • 152nd Airlift Wing

Retired Chief Master Sgt. Denise Jelinski-Hall visited the Nevada Air National Guard base during the March unit training assembly. In honor of Women’s History Month, Senior Master Sgt. Angela Ash, the 152nd Airlift Wing’s human resource advisor, wanted to bring a speaker to the base that would inspire and motivate the Airmen.

“When I was working at National Guard Bureau, I worked in Family Programs and our team got invited to a ‘United through Reading’ event,” Ash said. “I was fortunate enough to be seated with the Chief and her family. That was my first ‘in person’ introduction to her—even though I had heard about her long before that—when she became the highest enlisted woman to the joint chiefs of NGB. I was mesmerized and curious about her.”

Ash said she wanted the Nevada Air National Guard Airmen to know they could achieve great things: “Chief is an extraordinary woman—but she is a regular woman and I wanted the Airmen to know that a regular person could achieve great things. Especially our young Airmen who are just starting off. All of them have the potential to get to that position. That was my hope for them to look at her, and hear her story and see that they could also achieve such a great position or even more in their future. That was my hope.”

Hall comes from humble beginnings. She grew up on a farm in central Minnesota and, while serving, always strived to make an impact on people’s lives.

“The most important thing was really showing the Airmen that were in my care and that were in my charge that I was interested in them, that I cared about their careers—and I cared about what their goals were, both in the military, as well as in the civilian sector,” she said. “I truly believe what Dr. John Maxwell says, ‘That people do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.’ Just showing that care and trying to make a difference in the lives in the Airmen and soldiers every day, was the most important thing to me.”

Hall held a two-hour talk in front of a packed auditorium, sat on a woman’s panel and toured around the base speaking with several different groups of Airmen.

“It was a privilege to escort her the entire weekend,” Ash said. “We got to have some intimate conversations about the different groups that she met with and kind of have a mentoring session for myself, which I really appreciated. We have been talking for almost two years now and I consider her a friend and a mentor. For me, it was a great honor to bring her out and share her with the Airmen with the Nevada Air National Guard.”

Jelinski-Hall ended her discussion with sound for the Airmen in attendance.

“Get your education out of the way early and then enjoy the ride, take a moment once in a while, take a pause and say, ‘I am an Airman in the United States Air Force, a member of the Nevada Air National Guard,’ and just think about the opportunities and the places that this great career can take them to just stop and pause and just stop and smell the roses every once in a while.”