ep 33: Surviving COVID with The Fired-Up Chief

EP33 Cover Art

Episode 33 Cover ArtChief Master Sergeant Juan Lewis served 28-years in the U.S. Air Force before retiring from active service. During his career, the former Services troop held many key billets on Joint Task Forces, NATO, and as the Wing Command Chief on several bases. He was given the moniker, the “Fired-Up Chief,” by the Airmen he led due to his passion to serve and champion their interests. In retirement, the Fired-Up Chief continues to serve the Airmen he loves. To him, each one of them is HERO (Helping Everyone Realize Opportunity) and his job is to keep them fired-up with Pride, Enthusiasm, and Passion (PEP). And he does this through motivating PEP talks as he travels around the Air Force and as a consistent source of encouragement to his tens of thousands of followers on social media. But in April of this year, the Fired-Up Chief found he was the one in need of motivation and encouragement as he fought for his life after contracting the coronavirus. Lying in his hospital bed in the Dutch city of Sittard, which lies just across the border from Geilenkirchen NATO Air Base in Germany, the Fired-Up Chief thought that at any moment, he would breathe his last.


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Fired Up Chief on Facebook
Chief Lewis on Facebook


While fighting his battle with COVID19, Chief Lewis drew strength from thousands of supporters and followers who encouraged him daily with positive messages and videos. This outpouring of support helped keep his spirits up. For years The Fired-Up Chief “had the backs” of countless HEROes around the world, sometimes taking considerable heat from others for his consistent support. Now, he found those HEROes had his back and he was deeply touched by it.

And although he was having a rough time in intensive care, he continued to spread PEP to HEROes around the world. He also updated everyone on his progress regularly via his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/firedupchief/


CMSgt Lewis meets with airmen
“My biggest accomplishments in the Air Force were never my rank or positions. They were the people who I inspired and helped reach unimaginable goals.” – The Fired Up Chief


‘Fired Up Chief’ retires after 28-year Air Force career

Air Force’s ‘Fired Up Chief’ survives a serious bout with coronavirus


Chris and Jody are Air Force vets who enjoy military history and folklore. They have a podcast. They tell stories. They digress. A lot.

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