There are many organizations on base available for Airmen to be a part of. Members of one group, although lower in rank, have a great vision for the future.
“LEAD stands for Luke Empowering Airmen’s Development,” said Senior Airman Dylan Vogel, 56th Medical Operations Squadron Family Health medical technician and LEAD Council president. “LEAD is about helping Airmen get out of their comfort zone by volunteering, networking with Airmen in other than their own career fields and doing something new other than their job.”
The LEAD Council accepts members from ranks E-1 through E-4.
“It’s important to have a LEAD council, because it’s an opportunity for us to give back to Airmen,” said Senior Airman LeAndre Anderson, 56th Operations Support Squadron Aircrew Flight Equipment journeyman and LEAD Council public affairs and event coordinator. “When our current council members were elected, our goal from the start was to give back to our members and help professionally develop them into the next leaders of the Air Force.”
The LEAD Council helps professionally develop Airmen in several ways, from the shadowing program, where one can shadow a chief, officer or an Airman in a different career field, to providing scholarships and more.
“We created a scholarship program where we give a $150 scholarships away five times per year, but we’re hoping to give out more in the future,” Vogel said. “The scholarship funds can be used for textbooks and classes.”
Another great way LEAD members give back to the local community is through donating their time.
“We are involved in the local community through volunteer events,” Anderson said. “We also contribute by helping spread the word of other organization’s volunteer events through our council meetings and through email. Recently, we helped provide volunteers for the Air Force Ball, Airman Leadership School graduations and the POW/MIA ceremony. We also work with other private organizations by providing volunteers for events they’re hosting, such as Top 3, Air Force Sergeants Association and more.”
Vogel says it’s essential for Airmen to give back to the community.
“It’s important for us to be involved with the community, because we need to lead by example,” he said. “Additionally, it goes hand- in-hand with the whole-person concept, especially if the individual wants to be competitive for award packages.”
Being involved in LEAD Council gives Airmen the opportunity to lead.
“I would highly encourage Airmen to attend a LEAD Council meeting if they haven’t already. It’s better to hear about the latest and greatest events directly from an Airman than reading it in email,” Vogel said. “Not only are Airmen able to ask questions, but they can have them answered right away. They can get involved and talk about volunteer events they’re planning. We also give individuals a chance to lead and have the opportunity to head up events. We help push their ideas and events through meetings and email. Remember, being an active member of the LEAD Council is a great way to not only give back to others but to have a chance to make a positive impact on other Airmen and in the local community.”