By Staff Sgt. Tiffany Lundberg
21st Space Wing Public Affairs
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Team Pete Airmen attended a lunch-n-learn seminar to learn about leading the millennial generation, June 14, at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado.
The seminar was hosted by Master Sgt. Robert Valenzuela, 21st Wing Staff Agency additional duty first sergeant, on behalf of Master Sgt. Gerald Morey, 21st WSA first sergeant, to bring Airmen together to learn and discuss topics surrounding everyday Air Force life, questions and concerns.
This month, Tech. Sgt. Thomas Echelmeyer, 21st Aerospace Medicine Squadron Bioenvironmental Engineering NCO in charge, led the discussion on how to lead the millennial generation or Generation Y in today’s Air Force.
For the past couple generations, Generation Y includes anyone born between the years 1980-2000, and Generation X or Gen Xers from 1970-1980.
During the seminar, Echelmeyer briefed that 51 percent of the service members on Team Pete are millennials and 48 percent are Gen Xers. There is a wider gap in the Air Force statistics, 73% are millennials and only 26% are Gen X.
The millennials are known as the Generation Y because they ask a lot of questions or “why,” said Echelmeyer. Also, in order to lead millennials, leaders need to understand what motivates them to better accomplish the mission.
“One of our panel members has this great quote so I make sure she says it or I say it during this class, ‘It’s okay to ask questions, it’s not okay to question,’” he said. “I love that (quote), because it really embraces what the millennials are about. The millennials aren’t always just questioning, they have honest questions.”
Echelmeyer and the seminar participants discussed everything from work ethic, relationships, education and religion. They also talked about the differences in what is valued between the generations and how technology has driven the changes.
Echelmeyer also teaches the Millennial Leadership course at the Professional Development Center at Peterson AFB. The PDC course runs approximately three hours and also includes a panel with an Airman, NCO, senior NCO and an officer. Contact the PDC at 719-556-9226.