Air Force

February 22, 2013

Top Reserve shirt talks first sergeants’ importance

by Tech. Sgt. Richard Gonzales
419th Fighter Wing public affairs

Chief Master Sgt. Michael Bellerose, Air Force Reserve Command’s first sergeant functional manager. (U.S. Air Force photo)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — Early in his career, Chief Master Sgt. Michael Bellerose saw a first sergeant fix a problem others said couldn’t be solved. Bellerose, a security forces patrolman at the time, was working at a base air show and someone told him there weren’t enough box lunches for him and his team, he recalled. A first sergeant overheard the conversation and 45 minutes later Bellerose and his team had food. That small act of kindness from a random first shirt set the path for his Air Force career, he said.

Two decades and a dozen assignments later, Bellerose is Air Force Reserve Command’s first sergeant functional manager. He mentors 509 first sergeants and advises Reserve leaders on how best to use those Airmen. Bellarose relayed his beliefs on the role of first sergeants.

Is being a first sergeant tough?

It is the toughest job ever for an enlisted Airman. You see the good, bad and ugly of a unit. But it’s also very rewarding. First sergeants take care of Airmen in the shadow of the mission. If a first sergeant is doing a job well, the unit is going to succeed and we see that on unit climate assessments. If a first sergeant has good ratings on a climate assessment, the unit is most likely excelling in its mission.

So, what’s the benefit for Airmen to become first sergeants?

Well, we go from being operational leaders as supervisors to strategic leaders as first sergeants. First sergeants get incredible leadership development when stepping out of their career fields. We see people go back to their units after taking off their diamond and a lot of them end up taking on larger responsibility. Nothing else offers the leadership opportunity and development you get from being a first sergeant. If you ask any first sergeant to take off his or her diamond and go back to their old career field, none of them wants to leave.

What do you do to help shirts become better leaders?

What I really like to do is get new first sergeants and take them away from what they know. For example, I want to take a first sergeant with background in the mission support group and rehouse  in the maintenance group, so a whole new culture can be learned. Then, a few years later, reposition with operations or medical. So, when they return to their unit, they are a senior noncommissioned officer with experience in several distinct cultures, which increases their ability to lead and understand the entire organization.

What skills help a Reserve first sergeant succeed?

A first sergeant’s job isn’t done at the end of a Unit Training Assembly. Networking and fostering relationships are a huge part of being a first sergeant. If things go wrong, you need a good network to get things done in a timely manner, especially when you only see your Airmen one weekend a month. Family problems, marital problems and financial issues are the kind of things that come up and a first sergeant needs to be able to know how to quickly help their Airmen.

The March Air Reserve Base First Sergeant’s Association is readily-available to assist members with whatever is needed to bring balance to their careers and family life. For more information, contact your unit first sergeant.




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


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Megan Crusher

Team March bolsters Nepal earthquake relief efforts

U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Megan Crusher Team March Airmen and members from an elite 57-person team, known as the Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 2 (CA-TF2), prepare equipment to be loaded onto a C-17 Globemaster III a...
 
 
BC3---women-in-combatswuare

AF begins testing phase for women in combat roles

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Marionne T. Mangrum Cpl. Daisy Romero (left) and Sgt. Jessica Dmoningo, assigned to a female engagement team (FET), speak with an Afghan man in his compound during a patrol in Marjah, Helmand pro...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Ashley J. Thum

Ten ways to help kids conquer military life challenges

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Ashley J. Thum Capt. Adam Luber, a 334th Fighter Squadron pilot, and Jeremiah Seaberry, the 334th FS pilot for a day, watch F-15E Strike Eagles on the flightline during a 4th Fighter Wing Pilo...
 

 

AF sexual assault prevention: moving in the right direction

“I was raised in a household where you take responsibility for your own actions and don’t blame others for your downfalls,” said Tech. Sgt. Kathleen Thorburn. “Instead of seeing a crime that had occurred, all I could see were my mistakes. Why did I go to that party? Why did I accept the drink? Why...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Perry Covington

Master Sgt. Bode named AFRC’s 2014 Crew Chief of the Year

U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Perry Covington Master Sgt. James Bode, Air Reserve Technician and dedicated crew chief, 752nd Aerospace Maintenance Squadron, March Field, runs through some routine maintenance checks on his KC-135 S...
 
 

AF Smart Operations of the 21st Century Training Course

Students feverishly poured over charts and graphs as they worked their way through the presented problem at March Air Reserve Base, Calif., during a five-day, Air Force Smart Operations of the 21st Century (AFSO21) Green Belt Training Course from March 22nd to March 27th, 2015. A gathering of both enlisted and officers alike, the group...
 




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