News happening around Little Rock Air Force Base


Protocol: Behind the scenes making it happen

a man in a blue polo poses for a photo

Christopher Schack, 19th Airlift Wing chief of protocol, readies an event at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Aug. 16, 2019. Schack is in charge of ensuring base events and visits are coordinated to transpire smoothly and professionally, ultimately helping tell the Herk Nation story. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mariam K. Springs)

a man talks to two airmen

Christopher Schack, 19th Airlift Wing chief of protocol, discusses the plan for the 19th Airlift Wing Birthday event with Airmen at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Aug. 16, 2019. The protocol section is in charge of coordination, creating itineraries and making sure everyone is in the correct spot for an event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mariam K. Springs)


Thousands of Team Little Rock members attend the various events held throughout the year. However, not everyone is aware of the individuals behind the scene making them happen.  

Christopher Schack, 19th Airlift Wing chief of protocol, is in charge of ensuring base events and visits are coordinated to transpire smoothly and professionally, guided by Air Force Instructions. Protocol is critical in showcasing the pride that members of Herk Nation have in their mission.

Schack, alongside the two other personnel in the section, ensure visitor itineraries, billeting, transportation and security needs are arranged. Protocol also organizes or assists with most ceremonies including changes of command, retirement, promotion and awards when the 19th AW Command Section is involved.

 “Many times, the events or visits we deal with involve talking about our mission to community members, elected officials and their representatives,” Schack said. “Smoothly run events makes it easier to get that message across. We want guests to leave this installation with a good feeling about an event they attended or a visit they made.”

The change of command ceremonies are the most common event protocol manages. The protocol team plans these ceremonies for not only the 19th, but also the 314th AW. This year there have been 17 changes of command.

The office is in charge of coordination, creating itineraries and making sure everyone is in the correct spot for an event. They are also responsible for covering such details as who is speaking at a ceremony, the order distinguished guests are introduced, how the flags are set up, and how the honor guard is presenting the colors- many things the attendants of these events may not think about.

“People retire on base all the time,” Schack said. “I want the ceremonies to be dignified. I think about who they bring to that ceremony - mostly their family members, who may have never seen a ceremony before. They look back afterwards and say, ‘Wow, that was a great ceremony.’ Their family was impressed with how it went smoothly and professionally.”

Cheryl Fraser, 19th Airlift Wing secretary to the wing commander, said protocol works behind the scenes to ensure each event is dignified and respects the men and women of the U.S. Air Force.

“Protocol makes sure that each event is properly executed according to the AFIs and the rules of general etiquette, making sure that each event is memorable,” Fraser said.

Schack emphasized protocol’s role in supporting the wing commander so he can maintain his mission focus across the installation.

“My number one job is making sure I’m taking care of the wing commander and any desires he has.” Schack said.  

Protocol strives to commemorate and celebrate events by assisting with planning dignified, professional ceremonies and social activities while maintaining quality service and always improving business processes.

“I want to be at 100% all the time and not have any mistakes,” Schack said. “But there’s always going to be something that changes last minute. We put out a lot of fires. I can’t fix everything, but I try. There’s a lot of pressure in this job and you always have to be on your toes and know what’s going on.”

The section faces stressors from trying to make an event go as planned, identifying improvements and adapting when changes occur. Even so, they regularly have the opportunity to meet a variety of influential people and showcase Little Rock’s mission.

“I really enjoy this job,” Schack said. “Everyone’s a team here, working together and taking care of each other.”

USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.

Photo Gallery: Week in Review

News Search