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.


 
 

 

Resource management — Doing more with less

Since I joined the Air Force in 1992, our manpower and resources have been gradually reduced with no obvious change to the mission we support. While this has been labeled “doing more with less,” I don’t believe we’re truly doing any more than we did when I entered the military 22 years ago. We seem...
 
 

Situational awareness

Throughout my career, the importance of situational awareness has been driven into my head. This became exceedingly clear to me when I landed in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia. It was March 17, 2003, about 48 hours until Operation Iraqi Freedom kicked off. We were busy building tents, making bunkers and preparing to execute the mission. Doing...
 
 

Chaplain’s thoughts …

There are times in our lives which are marked by a flash of inspiration. Some coincidental event takes place that brings new insight or understanding. One such event happened for me this past fall at the funeral Mass of one of Luke’s longtime friends, Katie Gillen. Miss Katie served as our base librarian for many...
 

 
Kingdom_Hearts_II_(PS2)

Fly Over: ‘Kingdom Hearts II’ and ‘Coaching Bad′

For Play Station II: ‘Kingdom Hearts II’ “Kingdom Hearts II” was released in 2005 for the Play Station 2 gaming console. The game is the sequel to “Kingdom Hearts” but the third in the series published by Square Eni...
 
 

Don’t get ‘Promotion Remorse’

The day I closed on my first house, my realtor and I did a final walk through to ensure there were no last-minute issues that needed addressing. Since I was a first-time home buyer, I didn’t know what to look for, so I finished my walk-through in 20 minutes. My realtor insisted on staying to...
 
 

Keep military records in check

A common issue we see at the 56th Force Support Squadron Military Personnel Section is that our military customers wait until the last minute to check their records. This can become an issue that can cause hardship on the member when it comes to promotion boards, permanent changes of station, retirement and separation. One scenario...
 




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