The 944th Fighter Wing recognized their newest noncommissioned and senior noncommissioned officers Jan. 10, 2021, during an induction ceremony at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.
The term “sergeant” comes from the Latin word “servient” meaning to serve. The role of a sergeant started during the Crusades and evolved throughout the years into what many call the “backbone of the military.”
Chief Master Sgt. (ret.) Kenneth Mitchell, former 944th FW command chief, spoke to the inductees during the ceremony and offered lessons learned from experience.
“If you want to be a great leader, you must be subservient and humble,” Mitchell said. “I took ownership of my people because I felt responsible for them.”
Mitchell encouraged NCOs to care for younger Airmen looking to them for guidance and leadership, as they may become senior NCOs in the future. He also charged NCOs with assisting their senior NCOs.
“To all my staff sergeants who got promoted, your responsibility is to help your senior NCOs take care of the younger Airmen because you are the middle backbone of this organization,” he said. “I would expect you to carry your responsibilities in guiding our younger Airmen until one day, you may become a chief–or a command chief. Maybe you might not go higher than master sergeant. But no matter what, you can say ‘I was a leader because I served others first and put my personal interests on the side.’”
During the ceremony 60 Reserve Citizen Airmen were recognized; 37 new staff sergeants and 23 new master sergeants.