Air Force

January 9, 2014

First Sergeants are here to help

Airman 1st Class A. Guerrero
7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – Some Airmen need help or direction that is beyond what their immediate supervisor can provide. When a situation like this arises, there is one person in particular an Airman can go to.

The first sergeant, also referred to as “first shirt”, wears a diamond in the middle of their rank for a reason.

“Typically, shirts are pretty experienced and tend to be pretty solid senior NCOs with a lot of experience,” said Master Sgt. Brandy Wess, 7th Operations Group first sergeant. “Our job is the health, morale and welfare of our people, so anytime someone is having a problem and their first line supervisor doesn’t know how to help, the first sergeant will.”

First sergeants can assist Airmen in a number of ways. They usually have many resources available to them acquired through their years of networking as well as sound advice built up during their life and career. These can be the biggest assets to an Airman needing assistance.

“First sergeants can spend the whole day talking with people, building rapport with different agencies getting to know who point of contacts and subject matter experts are so that when an Airman comes to us with an issue, we know exactly who can help them, so then we can refer them appropriately,” Wess said.

As Airmen and wingmen, we should all be looking out for and helping one another, but first sergeants specialize in this. There are certain character traits that separate first shirts from other senior NCOs.

“You have to be very organized because the part of our job that a lot of people don’t see is the administrative side,” Wess said. “On top of that, you still have to be passionate and empathetic when someone comes to you with an issue. Sometimes even if I think its minor, to that person it’s not. To that person it’s the biggest thing bugging them and distracting them from completing the mission.”

Airmen aren’t the only ones who benefit from a first sergeant’s guidance. Even spouses can go to the shirts should they have an issue that needs addressing.

“In my unit, spouses get an equal amount of help as our Airmen, and if a spouse has a problem, I’m going to do everything I can to help,” Wess said. “One way we do that is to stay engaged with our Key Spouse Program. Whenever my squadrons have key spouse programs, I like to attend and mingle with the spouses. It’s important that I get to know them so that they know I’m there to help.”

When asked, many shirts will say their job is their people. Between Airmen and their spouses, first sergeants are the cornerstones of a unit, providing relief for any problems that are presented to them. This help is for anybody, not just those assigned to their particular unit. A first sergeant’s advice is available to anyone looking for it.

“My personal motto is, ‘I’m everyone’s first sergeant,’” Wess said. “If I come across an Airman having a hard time, I don’t care where that Airman works, if they are in my unit or what rank they are wearing, I’m going to stop and ask if they are okay. I don’t mind asking the hard personal questions that may dig into their business a little bit because if it helps them out, then it’s worth it.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Brett Clashman)

“Solicit help; don’t hide”

Over the years, the term “Wingman” has evolved in the Air Force. The traditional military definition of a Wingman refers to the pattern in which fighter jets fly. There is always a lead aircraft and another which flies off ...
 
 

Adaptability a ‘must’ in today’s Air Force

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. – Three years ago, I entered the Air Force as a general dentist. After completing four challenging years of dental school, I was eager to serve in the Air Force and use my newly developed skills to provide quality care to Airmen. What I quickly came to realize was the misconception that...
 
 

Local Briefs July 18, 2014

355th FW to hold active shooter training exercise July 29, 7 p.m. The 355th Fighter Wing will be conducting an active shooter training exercise starting at approximately 7 p.m. local, Tuesday, July 29. Multiple facilities and locations on base will be affected, but the overall impact to normal operations will be minimal for those who...
 

 
PilotForADay_pict3

Pilot for a Day: Trevor Pahl

. D-M firefighters help Trevor Pahl spray a fire truck. D-M has been supporting the Pilot for a Day program, which was designed to focus on children who have serious or chronic health conditions, for more than 10 years. Airman ...
 
 

Existing tools help users reduce PII breaches

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas (AFNS) – Members of 24th Air Force are refurbishing an old email tool to help Air Force users reduce breaches of personally identifiable information, or PII. The Digital Signature Enforcement Tool, or DSET, which currently prompts users to provide a digital signature when an email contains an active hyperlink or attachment,...
 
 
Loft_pict

The Loft: a way to connect, serve, grow

Are you looking for a way to connect, serve, and grow? Come visit the DMAFB Airman’s Ministry Center, more commonly known as “The Loft!”  The Loft is a center for DM single airmen located on the second floor of building ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin