Todd Salzman
Retired Command Chief Master Sergeant, USAF. Former Command Chief, Air Force Academy.
Background: Military Leaders
Topic: Decision Making, Inspiration & motivation, Leadership

Speaker Profile

Why would a prospective client want you to be their keynote speaker or to support their speaking event? What are some compelling aspects of your background/career/experience that we should know about? 

The most compelling aspect of my career lies in the experiences gained as a leader and follower.  As a follower, I saw how effective leaders communicate to and motivate their teams to achieve mission success – and then worked hard to emulate it.  Conversely, I saw the negative impact an ineffective leader can have on an individual, a team, or an organization – and then became mindful of my approach to situational and organizational leadership. Through these experiences I was able to develop strong teams through clear vision, constant and consistent communication, and motivation, giving useful and timely feedback, and then sitting back and watching them succeed.  These experiences have culminated in my ability to successfully articulate these lessons to junior and senior military and civilian leaders alike.

My experience flying combat support sorties and leading at the tactical and operational level of command during operations DESERT STORM, IRAQI FREEDOM, and ENDURING FREEDOM provided a perspective on the difficulties of leading in the fog and friction of war.  Furthermore, it gave me firsthand experience on maintaining discipline and providing motivation to carry out long term operations in harsh environments and varying operations tempos. 

Finally, as a career enlisted leader I studied, at length, military history, and the military and civilian leaders who successfully overcame whatever barriers lay before them to ensure mission success.  This study also allowed me to compare and contrast today’s leaders against the leaders of the past to provide perspective on what has worked and what has not worked in a myriad of leadership situations.  Furthermore, it helped leaders understand, in most cases, the situation that lies before them is often times not new and is not insurmountable and those who have gone before them often have the key.   

What are your primary topics/areas of expertise? Some examples may include: Conflict resolution, International Relations, Leadership, Diversity and Inclusion, Cybersecurity, as well as specific countries or geographical regions. 

  • Leadership
  • Personal and Professional Development
  • Wellness
  • Resilience

What are some positions you have held in your career that you would like prospective clients to know about?

  • Military Relationship Manager, ENT Federal Credit Union, Colorado Springs, Colorado.  Liaison between ENT FCU and commanders on three AF installations.  Synchronized financial education opportunities with installation Airman and Family Readiness Centers and taught seminars on Car Buying 101 and Establishing and Maintaining Your Credit Score for newly assigned Airmen.   Conducted leadership seminars for credit union branch managers and employees and conducted numerous lectures at the NCO Academy and Airman Leadership Schools. 
  • Command Chief Master Sergeant, United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Provided insight into the Air Force enlisted corps to 4,000 cadets on track to lead as newly commissioned second lieutenants.  Conducted classroom lectures and keynote speeches at Academy sponsored leadership seminars/conferences.  Advised senior and general officers on the professional development of academy cadets and the Airman, NCO, and SNCOs supporting them.  Coached and mentored junior and field grade officers on leadership at the tactical and operational levels of command. Managed career and professional development of all assigned CMSgts and First Sergeants.
  • Command Chief Master Sergeant, Headquarters, 13th Air Force, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii.  Advised the commander on professional development, readiness, and health and wellness of over 8,000 enlisted airmen across Hawaii, Guam, and Japan.  Director, Pacific Air Force Enlisted Engagement coordinating leadership development opportunities with 29 allied and partner nations in the Pacific area of responsibility.  Teamed with senior officers and enlisted members of Malaysian Air Force to coordinate the first ever Senior Enlisted Leader conference in Kuala Lumpur hosting senior enlisted leaders from 16 countries.  Provided briefings to partner nation and allied senior and general officers on USAF enlisted professional development to provide insight of opportunities to enhance capability and build capacity within their own services.
  • Command Chief Master Sergeant, 22nd Air Refueling Wing, McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas.  Provided leadership and counsel to the wing commander on enlisted development, readiness, and health and welfare.  Sought out by junior, field grade, and senior officers for mentorship and coaching in leadership and management considerations when operating at the squadron and group level.  Served as deployed Operations Group Superintendent supporting air refueling and reconnaissance operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Experienced the full gamut of leadership opportunities, as a crew member working with junior officers, and as enlisted leader and advisor to senior officers and NCOs supporting installation operations. 

What are some speaking events you’ve supported recently?

Air Force Reserve Command, Yellow Ribbon Conference, Orlando, Florida, December 2019. A two-day conference providing health and wellness information for reserve officer and enlisted airmen and their families to enhance resiliency before, during, and after deployment operations.  I conducted two seminars, 3600 Deployment Preparation. and Redeploying, The Art of Seamless Reintegration.

Do you have any articles or publications? Have you been featured in any? If so, what were they? 

Slaying Dragons.  A Layman’s Guide to Understanding Depression and Anxiety and Killing It!  Published in 2019


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