KMC first sergeants mentor CGOs

Story and photos by Airman 1st Class Joshua Magbanua
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Airmen from around the Kaiserslautern Military Community attend a professional development seminar June 1 on Ramstein. The two-day event was facilitated by the KMC First Sergeant Council.

Company grade officers from around the Kaiserslautern Military Community participated in a professional enhancement seminar on Ramstein.

The PES was themed “Building a Better Leader for the Enlisted Force,” and was hosted by the KMC First Sergeant Council.

The seminar enhanced the ability of CGOs to be more effective and efficient leaders.

Master Sgt. Justin Campbell, 86th Civil Engineer Squadron first sergeant, said it was the CGOs who approached the first sergeants asking for mentorship opportunities.

“They wanted the engagement with the first sergeants,” he said. “They have always wanted more time with the first sergeants to get their perspective and insight on the Air Force. We’ve received that message and now we’ve delivered. I think it’s a great opportunity, it’s not often that CGOs have the opportunity to sit down with senior NCOs, let alone first sergeants, and get their perspective.”

Campbell said speakers also touched on topics concerning the enlisted tier, explaining that CGOs should understand how the enlisted system works in order to be effective leaders.

One of the speakers was Chief Master Sgt. George Anderson, who serves as the first sergeant for U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa. He discussed the responsibilities of first sergeants encouraging attendees to talk to them if they find themselves in need of advice.

“Come to us if you ever need anything,” he said. “There are very few times we are too busy to talk to you.”

Anderson recalled an experience he had early in his Air Force career and described how it shaped him as an Airman.

“I believe I’ve become a better person after standing before my com-mander as I was facing dis-ciplinary actions,” he said. “We can’t shield people from adversity, but we can prepare them to na-vi-gate through it.”

Capt. James Tyhurst, 435th Con-struction and Training Squadron training flight commander, said the seminar was a great opportunity to acquire additional knowledge for him to better lead his Airmen.

“The time to learn a process is not when it is happening,” said Tyhurst. “Having information beforehand is always better. That way, when you get to the decision-making process you already understand how some things are supposed to play out. As a flight commander, I wish I had known ahead of time how to deal with certain issues.”

Tyhurst said the seminar helped him look at leadership from different vantage points.

“With my background as an engineer, I can kind of focus on the engineering aspect,” he said. “But in my training flight, I don’t just have engineers. I also have services and personnel Airmen. This gives me a new perspective to look at different challenges.”

As CGOs around the KMC look for ways to improve themselves as leaders, Ramstein’s first sergeants stand ready to mentor the future of the Air Force.

Chief Master Sgt. George Anderson, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa first sergeant, speaks with a company grade officer during a professional development seminar June 1 on Ramstein. First sergeants conducted the seminar with CGOs in order to help them strengthen their leadership skills.