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NEWS | May 29, 2013

Diamond Tip: Who is your first sergeant?

By Master Sgt. James Kasch 14th Airlift Squadron first sergeant

How many Airmen out there know their first sergeant? How many know what he or she can do for you? As I look back over the last 20 years, I've asked myself those very questions on numerous occasions.

First, you must know that your first sergeant is a person and not a machine. We have sons, daughters, husbands and wives and yes, even feelings ... just like you. We do not wake up each day with the thought of ruining or ending someone's career. And, we are not the uniform police as many like to assume. A direct quote from Air Force Instruction 36-2618 para 6.1.7. states: "First sergeants provide a dedicated focal point for all readiness, health, morale, welfare and quality of life issues within their organizations."

The AFI also adds we "derive authority from the unit commander and advise commanders, command chiefs and other enlisted Airman on morale, discipline, mentoring, well-being, recognition and the professional development of enlisted Airman."

Notice how the first items listed are readiness and morale, not discipline. Each first sergeant looks forward to ensuring their Airmen are ready to deploy and maintain the highest morale possible under the current conditions.

Second, as your first sergeant, each and every one of us has taken a step away from our primary career field to do one thing, take care of Airmen. Our motto states "My job is people ... everyone is my business!"

We take that seriously. Who else is on call 24-hours a day, seven- days per week, 365-days a year, solely for the purpose to assist you in a time of crisis: the first sergeant. We are your focal point when interacting with base supporting agencies. We are here when you transfer TDY, have pay issues, attend PME, need a new CAC after misplacing yours, have questions regarding leave, a sounding board for personal issues, and the list goes on.

I think back to a time when a situation arose that involved the first sergeant. How professional did he or she take care of it? We pride ourselves on our demeanor and professionalism. We take on each challenge with a renewed vigor. We only ask that each and every one of you strive to do the same. There is an Airman reading this now that will someday take on the challenge and become a first sergeant.

I want to leave you with our creed...

I am a First Sergeant
My job is people - Every One is My Business.
I dedicate my time and energy to their needs;
their health, morale, discipline, and welfare.
I grow in strength by strengthening my people.
My job is done in faith; my people build faith.
My job is people --

May it provide you comfort to know we are here for you; ready, willing ... your FIRST SERGEANT!