“My education complements my skills and gives me more credibility in my position as the chief of force development, education services officer for a large military installation.”
Retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant; Now Civilian Advisor for Airmen and Force Development
Dr. William Kono is the chief of force development at the 647th Force Support Squadron, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii. He served in the United States Air Force for 28 years and was awarded five Meritorious Service medals, three Air Force commendation medals, three Air Force Achievement medals and multiple annual functional awards. He retired as a chief master sergeant.
In his current position, he is responsible for adult, non-traditional, voluntary, continuing and post-secondary/higher education programs. Kono provides quality oversight and review of all military education and testing programs. He leads a team of 19 civilians and two military personnel that supports a service population of over 11,000 assigned to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, various other units and detachments on Oahu, and 25 geographically separated units throughout the Pacific area of responsibility.
After retiring from the military, Kono decided to return to school alongside his wife. Both were veterans and utilized the Post 9-11 GI bill education benefit to assist in paying for their educations. “We chose Argosy University, Hawaii because of the blended courses that took advantage of the best features of face-to-face and online learning,” he mentioned. “In addition, having served as leaders in a variety of military positions throughout our military careers, the Doctor or Education in Educational Leadership was a perfect fit for us.” Kono completed the program at Argosy University, Hawai`i in 2016.
He added that his education improved his research skills—enhancing his work performance. Kono said that his instructors were supportive and encouraging, making his time at school a “truly unforgettable experience.”
While working full time while attending school was a challenge, Kono faced it by modifying his behavior and learning not to procrastinate. “I had to concentrate more on effective time-management techniques that helped me to complete my coursework and the program.” He suggests that current students remain focused and keep themselves motivated through a positive attitude, hard work and initiative.
Kono’s achievements include:
- Earning meritorious civilian service medal from the Major Command (Pacific Air Forces) commander
- Earning two civilian exemplary service medals, the Department of the Air Force award for civilian achievement
- Being honored as Air Combat Command's annual award winner for Air Force education and training individual awards (GS-11 and above)
- Being recognized with multiple squadron senior civilian of the year awards
- Being recognized as the U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii Purple volunteer of the year for working with the Schofield Warrior Transition Battalion
- Tours of duty as a security forces defender, aircraft maintenance superintendent, and Air Force inspector general functional management inspector
- Becoming licensed as a California Community College instructor, working in college counseling, and obtaining TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) certification
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