Nov. 17, 2007
Hermantown woman to command 148th Fighter
By Steve Kuchera
Chief Master Sgt. Jodi Stauber doesn’t dismiss
what the 148th Fighter Wing’s 102 officers do. But to her,
it’s the outfit’s 929 enlisted personnel who are its
“heart and soul.”
Come Sunday, Stauber, 39, will begin caring for
the Duluth-based 148th’s heart and soul like never before.
Stauber, a 21-year veteran of the unit, will be elevated to the
job of command chief — the highest ranking enlisted position
on the base. She’ll be the first woman to hold the post at
Chief Master Sgt. John Bucsko, who was the 148th’s
command chief for nearly three years, said the job is both satisfying
“You are the senior enlisted adviser to
the wing commander,” he said, explaining the job. “You
provide feedback to the commander on enlisted issues.”
The command chief oversees all senior enlisted
promotions, takes part in wing-wide planning, and is a liaison with
the local community. He or she works directly with the wing’s
commanding officer, advising him on the readiness, training, professional
development, conduct, quality of life and morale of the enlisted
“It’s the command chief’s job
to take the pulse of the enlisted force,” Stauber said. “It’s
very important that the command chief is visible and out there with
“I am looking forward to the challenge,”
she said. “I’m going to do my best. I hope I can live
up to the expectations.”
Stauber, a 1986 Denfeld graduate, decided to join
the military in about ninth grade when the Air Force visited the
“I remember making the decision [to enlist].
It was my first adult decision,” she said.
Stauber considered active duty in the Air Force,
but then thought about the 148th.
“It was a better fit for me,” she
said. “I could stay in my hometown and be in the military.”
She is married to Duluth Police Sgt. Pete Stauber.
The couple have four children and live in Hermantown.
Stauber will become command chief at a change
of authority ceremony at 1 p.m. Sunday. She’ll also continue
her current duties.
Stauber is going to do a fine job as command chief,
said Bucsko, a 32-year veteran of the 148th who retired Oct. 22.
“She’s very well-qualified because
of the personnel background she has,” he said.
Staff Sgt. Ryan Hall, who works with Stauber in
the personnel office, said she’s a hard worker who has great
organizational skills and pays attention to detail.
“She’s always on top of things,”
he said. “I think she will be one of the best, if not the
best, command chiefs we’ve had here at the 148th. She always
takes care of her troops. I feel very blessed to have her as a chief.”
For her part, Stauber believes Bucsko will be
a tough act to follow.
“Chief Bucsko is the epitome of service
before self,” she said. “He is one of the kindest people
you will ever meet.”
“Command chief isn’t a job you can
do well for the wrong reasons,” Stauber said. “It has
to be from the heart. You have to care for people.”
A wing’s commanding officer selects who
will be the command chief. The 148th’s commander, Col. Mark
Johnson, was out of town and could not be reached for comment. Stauber
said she was extremely and humbly proud Johnson selected her.
“I’ve come to a place I never thought
I would be,” she said.