Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Schriever Sentinel

What is a first sergeant?

Commentary by
Master Sgt. James Hunt

50th Operations Group first sergeant

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — As a first sergeant in the United States Air Force, I get the distinct opportunity of helping our Airmen overcome challenges, and be better performers and wingmen because of it. When I first became a first sergeant, one of the things I noticed early on was the majority of the unit did not understand what a first sergeant truly does.

Since then, I ask every new person to the unit what they think first sergeants do. Most of the responses are similar to, “we come see you when we are in trouble,” or “if we have to take emergency leave, we come see you.” Helping Airmen overcome disciplinary issues is definitely a part of what we do, but there is so much more.

One of the most satisfying elements of being a first sergeant is helping Airmen overcome challenges, grow from failure, and become better wingmen and leaders. Schriever Air Force Base is already home to the world’s finest Airmen, but we all face adversity at times. Building comraderie, teamwork and a sense of belonging will only strengthen the already outstanding team that serve at this installation. Initiatives like First Friday and intramural sports are a fantastic way to increase these aspects of cohesion, as well as build networks and friendships.

The First Sergeant Council loves to recognize superior performers through the Diamond Sharp Award. If you have an Airman of any rank you would like to brag about, do so with your first sergeant. My challenge to everyone is to take the initiatives that the wing has started, and use them to influence unit pride and cohesion at each level. Supervisors, take the time to recognize the great accomplishments of your team, and promote morale building activities. By taking the time to truly know our members, we can be more than managers. We can be leaders.

When I arrived at Schriever AFB, my first Air Force Space Command assignment, I was blown away with what this base does on a daily basis. The technical expertise displayed by our youngest Airmen is outstanding. Work accomplishment is not something anyone on this base is lacking. The wing command team exudes pride in what you do every day, and for good reason. This fact was exemplified in the recent Unit Effectiveness Inspection, and is a testament to the proficiency and professionalism Team Schriever exhibits daily.

I have never been more proud than I am right now to be a part of this championship team, Team Schriever!

What is a first sergeant?
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