Commentary

April 26, 2013

First sergeant nothing to fear; here to help

Master Sgt. DAVID MEACHAM
56th Security Forces Squadron

This goes out to everyone in the 56th Fighter Wing, “Do not be afraid of your first sergeant.” We are not the people some may portray us to be. I have heard many times during my six years as a shirt that the only people in the shirt’s office are getting in trouble. That is just a fallacy. It may be true some may be getting ready for an action or punishment from the commander, but it’s not always the case.

The number one reason I see people is because they’re having problems that include a wide range of possibilities. For the most part it’s about getting help from another agency on base like finance or medical, and members don’t know where to start. We can use our contacts and head them in the right direction.

But, we can’t do anything if someone is too afraid to ask for help. I had one individual who received a “zero” mid-month paycheck. He came to me and had no idea where to start. He was very flustered because he got a “zero” paycheck two weeks earlier and he had run out of money. When I inquired as to why he hadn’t come to me earlier he said, “I had money saved for two weeks. I figured it would fix itself. I wasn’t in trouble then and didn’t want to bother you.”

We can’t fix what we don’t know is broken. Members should not be afraid to seek help from a shirt when they need it. It’s always easier to rectify a problem early on when it first happens.

Some Airmen come to my office just for a little mentorship. They may be having a problem with one of their Airmen and would like my input on what I might do in the situation. They also want to know how to deal with a problematic supervisor and how to approach them tactfully. I’m always willing to inform an Airman of what I would do in a particular situation. They don’t have to follow it, but it may help them with a few ideas of their own.

Our business is helping people. Notice how I used the word “people.” We are not just there for the enlisted. Yes, they are our main focus, but we will help anyone who needs it, be it civilians, officers and even contractors. And we are not just here for our individual squadrons. Any shirt on this base is more than willing to help any individual in this wing who might need it. It may be as simple as answering a question. We may get them in contact with their own first sergeant to work the situation, but we will help just the same.

We also help individuals who have legal problems, i.e. Article 15s, administrative demotions, administrative separations, courts martial and more. But it is all help. We help the commander work with the legal office on the paperwork, we help the Airmen get with the Area Defense Council, and we help the supervisors help their Airmen. Even if we know an individual is guilty, we go out of our way to assist individuals with their needs.

The first sergeant’s entire reason of existence is to help Airmen (yes, that’s with a big A.) But we can’t help if we don’t know of the problem. Seek our assistance when you need it, and don’t be afraid of your first sergeant.

Oh, and I almost forgot; you can stop by anytime and just say, “Hi.”




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


 
 

 
Courtesy Photo

Luke 1 holds first commander’s call

Courtesy Photo Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing commander, begins his first commander’s call at Luke Air Force Base Monday. Pleus took command of the fighter wing June 20. Brig. Gen Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing com...
 
 

Balance, key to successful AF life

I believe proper balance is the key to a successful life in the Air Force. Over the years I’ve come to realize that it takes a concentrated effort to maintain balance between a professional life as an Air Force member and personal or family life. Both require constant learning, adjustments, development and attention. It’s easy...
 
 

Avoid claustrophobic career

I have heard many times that education is the great equalizer. The Air Force takes in people of all races, cultures and backgrounds and unifies them under simple beliefs and values. The enlisted force structure serves as the common language for force development, and education plays a major role. We all know education creates opportunity,...
 

 
James Hensley

No one flies until flight med gives OK

James Hensley Airman 1st Class Shawn Martinez, 56th Aerospace Medicine Squadron flight medicine technician, checks over the ambulance Aug. 19 with Staff Sgt. Jovanny Reyes, 56th AMDS medical technician, at Luke Air Force Base. ...
 
 

News Briefs August 29, 2014

Gate hours change The South Gate Visitor Registration Center hours have changed. They are 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Effective Tuesday, the North Gate is open inbound and outbound 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Also on Tuesday, the Kachina Gate will open inbound and outbound 6 a.m. to 10...
 
 

THUNDERBOLT OF THE WEEK

Senior Airman Brian Comia 56th Force Support Squadron Services journeyman Hometown: San Lorenzo, California Years in service: Three Family: Wife, Phoebe; daughters, Sophia and Isabella Inspirations: My family Goals: My short-term goal is to make staff sergeant next year Greatest feat: Becoming a U.S. citizen and having the pleasure and honor of serving this country...
 




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