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EAFB Chief slays final days before retirement

Published: Jan. 6, 2021 at 8:58 AM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - When you think of military leaders, Billy Mitchell, Patton or Stormin’ Norman might come to mind. But the highest enlisted person at Ellsworth Air Force Base, Chief Master Sergeant Rochelle M. Hemingway, shakes off the old, stogy stereotype. She capitalizes on her chance to represent women in the air force and show they can do anything with hard work and persistence.

“When I made Chief, there was another female chief that came to me and said the road will not be easy, but it’s going to be worth every bit of it because you’re going to be representing women in the military, and you are now showing that the impossible is possible,” Hemingway said.

Serving as a liaison between enlistees and officers can be a high-stress job. But, Hemingway considers it an honor to lead with the help of a hashtag.

“I have found that there are certain things that I have been doing throughout my career that I wanted to attach some meaning to,” Hemingway said. “A name that was very and that I can relate to and that others might see that they relate to, too. They #SLAY that I’ve created, that word, I mean in itself when you look it up in the urban dictionary is to kill it, dominate it, and nail it, and that is the mindset that I have every single day.”

Hemingway breaks #SLAY into an acronym;

  • S - Staying ready
  • L - Leading loud
  • A - A sense of family
  • Y - You are built to last

It’s an acronym that has served Hemingway well for the last 29 and a half years. In June, Hemingway plans to retire from the career she has loved but is determined to leave her mark.

“I want to leave a legacy. I want to leave a legacy for others to look back and say, you know what? Chief Hemingway was out in front, she was doing the best she could, and she actually made a difference. Even if it’s a small difference,” Hemingway said.

The legacy Hemingway will set is yet to be determined. However, “slaying it” does have a nice ring.

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