Col. Schmitt, Space Delta 4 commander

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Shaun Combs
  • SBD2 PA

BUCKLEY SPACE FORCE BASE, Colo. — U.S. Space Force Col. Ernest “Bobby” Schmitt, Space Delta 4 commander, offers his remarks and insight on guardianship, the DEL 4 mission, and his vision for the delta overall.

Military service is something that runs in the family for Schmitt, as his father spent a career in the Air Force for 24 years, ultimately culminating in his retirement as a master sergeant.

Having begun his military career as an Air Force Academy graduate, Schmitt propelled through an impressive 19-and-a-half-year career in the Air Force, eventually embarking on a transitional journey into the Space Force. This transition required him to resign his Air Force commission, to then accept a Space Force one.

“It made me a little nervous,” Schmitt recalled, thinking back on the moment. “I was right at the edge. It was always in the back of my mind, ‘what if this doesn’t work?’”

Schmitt is armed with knowledge and experience in leadership ideals and tenets, which developed across his multiple positions throughout his military career. One of these opportunities was being commander of the 16th Space Warning Squadron at Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado, where his biggest takeaway from his time there was that nothing is impossible.

“We were given a multitude of impossible tasks,” Schmitt said. “You know, you just unleash the creativity of junior officers and noncommissioned officers, and nothing's impossible, right?”

The position also taught him to trust delegation, especially in the people to get the mission done.

“If they say they’re going to get it done, they're going to get it done,” Schmitt proclaimed confidently. “You give them the resources, give them some of your authority, and they come back to you with solutions, and you just run with it.”

Of the guardian values, character holds a pivotal place in Schmitt’s leadership philosophy, as well as his interpersonal values in himself and DEL 4’s team members. As a member originally in the Air Force, Schmitt compared the guardian value of character to the airmen value of integrity.

“I think the interesting part is that character sort of takes integrity, and then adds more layers onto it, right?” Schmitt proposed, weighing the values of the two branches of service. “It's more about the whole person, and less about just doing the right thing when nobody's looking.”

When asked about how he expects DEL 4 guardians to embody character, he emphasized that strong character is the foundation for building resilient, cohesive teams that support and look out for one another.

“When the call comes and we've got to go fight and win, strong teams are more susceptible to winning than weak teams,” he declared.

As for the vision and future for DEL 4, Col. Schmitt is eager about the evolution of missile warning and tracking. He envisions a journey marked by improvements in readiness, with acknowledgement to the rapidly advancing nature of these domains.

As Col. Ernest “Bobby” Schmitt leads DEL 4 into the future, his commitment to the team, to the mission, and outlook for the overall operation of the delta will contribute immensely to the team’s continued success in an ever-changing space domain.

Sempur Supra. Videmus Mundum.