AFSA represents enlisted

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Air Force Sergeant Association was founded in 1961 by four U.S. Air Force NCOs who recognized the need for an organization to represent the voice of all enlisted personnel to America’s elected and military leaders. Over the past five decades, AFSA has represented its members by advocating for their interests, ensuring the military and veteran benefits they’ve earned are maintained. As a federally chartered veteran service organization, AFSA is endorsed by U.S. Congress to represent Airmen, veterans and families on Capitol Hill.

Whether you are an E-1 or E-9, AFSA is involved with legislative officials to advocate for improved quality of life and economic fairness to ensure they are never compromised. There are seven divisions which are comprised of 129 chapters throughout the world.

There are currently 110,000 dues-paying members. This matters when our four dedicated legislative lobbyists approach Capitol Hill about issues. If there are not 100,000 constituents, the collective AFSA voice is not heard on Capitol Hill. Chapter 1260, “Geno Piccoli,” is comprised of more than 1,700 members from the West Valley and greater Phoenix area.

Two components that all military members should be very familiar with are the National Defense Authorization Act and The Military Coalition. The NDAA is a United States federal law specifying the fiscal budget and expenditures for the Defense Department. Each year the act is reviewed and lawmakers recommend defense budget cuts to balance the budget.

One topic that is always up for discussion is the pay raise. In 2017, the pay raise was 2.1 percent. Considering pay raises for the last five years, it has been a struggle to keep up with the employment cost index (civilian sector). Some of the other legislative priorities are tuition assistance, healthcare, cost of living adjustments, transition programs, care for family members/survivors and education benefits.

TMC is a group of 32 military, veteran and uniformed services organizations in joint pursuit of preserving, enriching and defending service member entitlements. AFSA is a member of this respected organization, which stands before Congress to testify against the assaults that are waged against all DOD entitlements.

AFSA is not only involved with legislative issues on Capitol Hill, it is also active in local communities. AFSA members can be found participating in Airman Leadership School graduations and presenting the academic award to the recipient with the highest GPA. AFSA also conducts numerous mentorship opportunities and educational segments at ALS, FTAC, AMNPEC, NCOPEC, SNCOPEC and 56th Fighter Wing orientations.

AFSA frequents Luke’s other professional organizations meetings to spread the word of what AFSA offers.

As for receiving professional development, Chapter 1260 was represented July 22-26 by chapter president Master Sgt. Christopher Dodd, membership trustee Tech. Sgt. Joye Lamme, L.E.A.D Council president/AFSA member Senior Airman Natalie Lamia and ALS commandant /AFSA member Master Sgt. Bruce Thompson at the 2017 International Professional Airman’s Conference in Reno, Nevada.

While at the four-day conference, AFSA attendees received direct mentorship from senior leaders such as 18th Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleith Wright, secretary of the Air Force Dr. Heather Wilson, vice chief of staff Gen. Stephen Wilson, five past chief master sergeants of the Air Force, MAJCOM chiefs and motivational speaker retired Command Sgt. Maj. Patrick Alston.

Chapter 1260 is always looking to receive mentorship to develop our next generation of Airmen. The monthly meeting is at 11 a.m. the second Wednesday of the month in the Barcelona Room at Club Five Six.

For more information, go to Facebook @AFSAGenoPiccoliChapter1260 or email afsachapter1260@gmail.com.