Many great leaders have said the enlisted force is the backbone of the Air Force. An organization that is proving this to be true is the Rising Six Committee at March Air Reserve Base, Riverside, Calif.
Junior enlisted members from every unit at March ARB are encouraged attend the wing Rising Six meetings at the Hap Arnold Club on Saturday mornings at 10 a.m. These meetings provided Airmen with the environment of a peer discussion group, in which any issues, concerns, or even morale boosting ideas can be addressed.
In attendance each meeting you will find president Staff Sgt. Rachel Brandt and vice president Staff Sgt Dayton Mitchell, leadership from 4th Combat Camera Rising Six. They take notes at the meeting and disseminate wing information to their troops as well as bring unit questions, interests, and proposed solutions to the wing meetings to assure they are considered. It is a priority to Sgt. Brandt that her squadron be represented, and immediately following the wing meeting holds a 4th CTCS Rising Six meeting.
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” -John Quincy Adams
Staff Sgt. Rachel Brandt has inspired her unit to take notice of the voice of their enlisted. She feels squadron’s participation in organizations like the Rising 6 help grow leaders today empowered to take on tomorrow’s challenges.
“I truly believe that being involved in the Rising 6 is making a difference in our ever changing Air Force,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Rachel Brandt, Enlisted Executive Officer, and 4th Combat Camera Squadron Rising Six president.
What sets 4th Combat Camera Squadron Rising Six apart from other squadrons is that attendance is mandatory for personnel E-6 and below. Everyone’s input is important. The Rising 6 has come up with ideas to boost morale, unit camaraderie, encourage teamwork, as well as, donate to community organizations and help with wing concerns.
“It is important that we provide information in regards to training, upcoming missions, and opportunities to volunteer,” said Staff Sgt. Dayton Mitchell, photojournalist, and vice president of 4th Combat Camera Squadron Rising Six.
For morale and comradery, they have held many squadron fundraisers such as pie-in-the-face and baking auctions, which have raised hundreds of dollars for gatherings, such as the squadron’s Ugly Sweater Christmas Party or other themed events. Team building has been encouraged by team physical fitness challenges, like obstacle courses in teams where unit members have to work together to flip a C-17 tire or drag a pallet to the finish line. In organizing these events, Airman from different walks of life bond as a unit, and this cohesion improves the unit’s overall mission readiness.
Leadership not only at the wing level, but also unit leadership within 4th Combat Camera Squadron has taken notice of what the Airmen are capable of. U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Beth Horine, commander, 4 CTCS was inspired by the enlisted participation in the Rising Six and decided to open a new position in the unit. Primarily 4th Combat Camera Squadron has always had an officer in the Executive Officer position, but she knew the importance of the voice of the enlisted and opened an Enlisted Executive Officer position.
“I strive to give opportunities in the squadron, on base as well as off base to make a positive change for our image as military members. I am proud to be a part of this squadron and have been given the opportunity to lead the Rising 6,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Rachel Brandt, Enlisted Executive Officer, and 4th Combat Camera Squadron Rising Six president.
Even the newest member of the 4th, despite rank or time in service feels he can make a difference in the Air Force and shines as he speaks of his new Combat Camera and Air Force family.
“The welcoming reception of my peers at the 4th Combat Camera Squadron has shattered all of my preconceptions of a cold and heartless military,” said Airmen Quiche Jackson, broadcast journalist, an newest 4 CTCS member.