Commentary

February 28, 2014

Airman celebrates top one percent

Tech. Sgt. Joseph S. Netti
Defense Information Systems Agency – Pacific

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii — When asked to be part of a chief master sergeant recognition ceremony here, I happily accepted.

I love celebrating the accomplishments of our Airmen; it reminds me that we are part of the profession of arms. At the time, I had never been to a chief’s recognition ceremony, and I must admit that as the event drew near, I began to feel like a fish out of water. However, as I am a technical sergeant in the Air Force, it is my job to figure these things out. 

My approach — I just bore in mind that the ceremony was not about me. It was about 16 Airmen reaching a tremendous milestone as the top one percent of the Air Force.  I focused on doing my part to make their night memorable.

In the final days leading up to the event, I noticed I was not the only one with this mentality. As logistical problems mounted, I watched these chiefs work together and overcome for the good of the event.

All of the dedication, planning and hard work came to fruition on the day of the ceremony. I attended the practice that morning to get some particulars for my own purposes, at which point I took in my surroundings, and saw more chiefs and chief selects than I have ever seen in one place. With more than 16 years in service, this is no small statement.

Watching them all interact was intriguing to me. In the midst of all the activity, several chiefs found time to teach some of the younger Airmen from the setup crew.  It reminded me of my time in the tactical world, when our job was to accomplish the mission expediently and efficiently while training our replacements.

As the final pieces were set in place, my excitement grew.

The recognition ceremony itself was amazing and I was proud to be a part of it.

The last-minute “fill-in” guest speaker, a major general, was no fill-in. He was spectacular and it was obvious he held the rank of chief in very high regard.

I couldn’t help but think about those that may be wondering: “What’s the big deal?  Why so much emphasis and so many resources on a ceremony?  Don’t we have a job to do?”  These are tumultuous times within the military, as the business side of our profession is presently in the process of a significant manning and budget reduction.  The speaker hit the nail on the head as he explained to our new chiefs that their importance can never be overstated. 

For every E-9 in the Air Force, there are at least 99 Airmen behind them. We 99 need the leadership of our one chief now more than ever. It is ceremonies like these that remind me that the Air Force will continue to be the best in the world because of the leadership and mentorship of those above us. We should all be proud of each other’s accomplishments and the heritage of those who came before us, especially in times of uncertainty – that to me, is priceless.




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


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Kleinholz

31st TES F-35s take on Green Flag 15-08

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Kleinholz Tactical air control party members from the 7th Air Support Operations Squadron, Fort Bliss, Texas, monitor radios from a defensive fighting position while AH-64D Apache he...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Susan Garcia

USAF Weapons School JTAC graduates to receive hallowed patches

U.S. Air Force photo by Susan Garcia Master Sgt. Jared Pietras, left, U.S. Air Force Weapons School Joint Terminal Attack Controller Advanced Instructor Course instructor, and Tech. Sgt. James Larsen, JTAC AIC student, pass tar...
 
 

Leaders: Good, bad, forgotten

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — It’s been my Air Force experience there are three categories of leaders — the good, bad, and the forgotten.Everyone reading this probably thinks they’re in the first category, but we know that’s not the case. Airmen who work for you certainly wish that were true, but not every leader’s...
 

 

Are you ready to transition out of your uniform?

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. — Leaving the military is not as simple as staying home the day after your service commitment is up. Almost 23 years ago, after a summer vacation that lasted less than 48 hours, I showed up in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with about 1,000 of my new closest friends. Fast forward...
 
 
561st-Patch

561st JTS enhances warfighter TTPs

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Nellis AFB is home to many groups and squadrons with important mission capabilities that make the U.S. Air Force the most flexible and capable force possible. The 561st Joint tactics Squadron is ...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jake Carter

Airman’s Attic provides free items, goods

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jake Carter Patrons at the Airman’s Attic look through the store’s inventory on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., June 18. The Airman’s Attic is a volunteer-based organization where Air...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>