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CSAF meets SMC’s Galaxy Cohorts, discusses leadership and professional development

U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr. speaks with members of the Space and Missile Systems Center’s Galaxy program during a mentoring session at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, July 9, 2021. Galaxy is the U.S. Space Force’s premier professional development experience for both junior military and civilian acquisition professionals at SMC. (U.S. Space Force photo by Staff Sgt. Andrew Moore)

U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr. speaks with members of the Space and Missile Systems Center’s Galaxy program during a mentoring session at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, July 9, 2021. Galaxy is the U.S. Space Force’s premier professional development experience for both junior military and civilian acquisition professionals at SMC. (U.S. Space Force photo by Staff Sgt. Andrew Moore)

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.--Cohorts of the Space and Missile Systems Center’s Galaxy program met virtually with U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., July 9, for a mentoring session and to discuss professional development.

Galaxy is the U.S. Space Force’s premier professional development experience for both junior military and civilian acquisition professionals at SMC. Members are immersed in a six-month rapid professional development and capability execution program that exposes them to the Department of Defense and commercial space enterprise.

“Galaxy changed my perspective on work,” said Genevieve Rozzo, a Galaxy IV graduate. “I have a much better idea of the overall value stream from SMC to the warfighter, and I prioritize my work in order to focus on providing capabilities faster rather than just completing tasks. Galaxy also challenged me to write a personal leadership philosophy, and I find myself referencing that page often to build stronger relationships with my team and fully understand the ‘why’ behind our work.”

Each cohort begins their experience by forging relationships with more than 45 separate organizations and locations within their first month. Then, they take the principles and methodologies learned and are empowered to lead a specific line of effort to deliver capabilities to the space warfighter.

“Take time to think of specific and dialogue-oriented questions,” Brown said during his mentoring session with the Galaxy cohorts. “The right questions will catalyze your learning; incomplete questions will hinder you. As a leader, you want to be as knowledgeable as possible in order to advocate based on facts and not emotion.”

When asked how to recruit and retain professionals in the cybersecurity enterprise, Brown emphasized the importance of talent management.

“We do this because we have a passion for it,” he said. “We must nurture that passion in each Airman and Guardian by providing flexible career paths to find balance between individual and mission needs. The U.S. Air and Space Forces strive to impart a sense of mission, belonging, and meaningful work.”

Brown also expressed the importance of intentionally building a diverse team, being a vulnerable and transparent leader, as well as having a routine.

“I have confidence in leaders who invest time mentoring a younger generation,” said Capt. Casey Moninghoff, Galaxy V cohort. “It demonstrates their commitment to putting others first - the most fundamental aspect of leadership. A leader who says ‘yes’ to personal sacrifice so that they may inspire others is a leader I want to emulate.”