First sergeants serve as the commander’s representative on councils, boards and selected military events. They are the liaison and spokesperson between the enlisted force of the unit and the commander. First sergeants communicate and advise the commander and staff on matters of health, morale, welfare, training, professional development and utilization of enlisted personnel.
Senior Master Sgt. Edward M. OBrien is first sergeant for the 452d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. He joined the U.S. Air Force Reserve in 1991 as a C-130 Hercules aircraft maintenance electrical and environmental systems specialist. He was assigned to the 403rd Maintenance Squadron, Kessler Air Force Base, Miss., as a maintainer for the WC-130 Hurricane Hunters. In 1996, he transferred to the 944th Maintenance Squadron at Luke AFB, Ariz., as an F-16 Fighting Falcon maintainer. Obrien’s first sergeant duties began in 2006, when he was chosen to serve with the 944th Maintenance Operations Squadron; after which in April 2007, he continued his duties with the 944th Communications Squadron and in September 2009, with the 944th Aeromedical Staging Squadron. In November 2010, OBrien was selected to be the 452d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron first sergeant at March Air Reserve Base. He is a veteran of operations including NORTHERN WATCH, SOUTHERN WATCH and ENDURING FREEDOM. OBrien holds a sales and marketing position for a national health insurance company. He acquired his master’s degree in Computer Information Systems from the University of Phoenix in 2002.
Master Sgt. Wendy T. Barraza is first sergeant for the Western Recruiting Squadron, Air Force Reserve Recruiting Service. She joined the U.S. Navy in April 1995 and served in various positions within the electrician’s mate career field, while onboard the U.S.S. Bridge AOE-10. Barraza transferred to the Air Force Reserve in 2001, where she spent six-years in public affairs and one year with the Airman & Family Readiness Center. She earned numerous accolades, to include two prestigious Department of Defense level awards. She is a veteran of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH. In addition to her first sergeant duties, she served on Air Mobility Command’s staff as the administrative executive director for the 2009 and 2011 Rodeo, AMC’s premier event.
Master Sgt. Lester E. Patrick is first sergeant for the 912th Air Refueling Squadron. Patrick enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in July 1998, beginning his career as a survival equipment apprentice. Having an extensive operational background, Patrick deployed to Nellis Air Force Base in support of Red Flag 2009 and 2010 and two deployments in support of Operations SOUTHERN WATCH and IRAQI FREEDOM. In 2004, he earned a Masters of Arts in Education, Teaching, and Instruction from Trident University International.
Master Sgt. Robert Sledge is first sergeant for the 452d Operational Support Squadron. He began his active duty career in 1983, at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. Sledge was initially assigned to Detachment 6 , 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, providing helicopter support for the Titan II missile crews that operated as part of the Strategic Air Command’s Intercontinental Ballistic Missile fleet. In 1986, he retrained into the flight engineer career field and was assigned to the C-5 Galaxy, 75th Airlift Squadron, Travis AFB, Calif. In 1993, Sledge transferred to the 312 ALS as a reservist. Sledge served as an additional duty first sergeant until 2010, later retraining into the first sergeant special duty career field. His first assignment was with the 349th Aerospace Medicine Squadron at Travis AFB, Calif. In 2011, Sledge transferred to Team March to assume his current duties. Throughout his career, he has been awarded many honors such as distinguished graduate at Noncommissioned Officer Leadership School and the NCO Academy.