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.


 
 

 
Staff Sgt. 
STACI MILLER

CMS aircraft fuel systems provides push for pilot

Staff Sgt.STACI MILLER Airman 1st Class Gary Esposito, 56th Component Maintenance Squadron aircraft fuel systems apprentice, prepares to inspect a 370-gallon external fuel tank on Luke Air Force Base. Esposito inspected the tan...
 
 
Senior Airman 
GRACE LEE

Latest F-35 has fastest induction to ALIS

Senior AirmanGRACE LEE The 14th F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter to arrive at Luke Air Force Base is shown Dec. 5 on the flightline. Airmen at the 61st Aircraft Maintenance Unit worked quickly to get the aircraft ready to...
 
 

Gratitude cultivates exceptional leadership

Several months ago I was inspired by the phrase “cultivate an attitude of gratitude.” The topic was presented in a religious context; however, I found these words significant and profound when considered as a tenent of exceptional leadership. Cultivate is an action verb. The word brings to mind images of an experienced gardener patiently tending...
 

 

Leadership vs. management

Have you ever had a boss or someone that made you want to come to work every day, someone you would do anything for without question? Then you were probably working beside a leader, not a manager. The biggest difference between managers and leaders is the way they motivate people who work for or follow...
 
 

Decking the halls …

Staff Sgt. Timothy Boyer Andrea Mathis, 56th Force Support Squadron Fighter Country Inn accounting clerk, decorates a Christmas tree Dec. 4 in the lobby at the Fighter Country Inn at Luke Air Force Base. Base lodging is available to active-duty service members, retirees and dependents on a space-available basis. For more information, call 623-856-3941.
 
 

Safety begins with asking ‘What could go wrong?’

I’m sure most of us have been told to “be safe” at some point either by a commander, supervisor or even a co-worker. This holiday season will probably not be any different. Someone will use this simple phrase in the next few weeks, and it will feel like a cliché to you, but what does...
 




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