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NEWS | Oct. 10, 2007

Top 3: a way for Airmen to give back

By Airman Melissa White 437th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

One-hundred sixty-two Airmen have found a way to give back to the local community and the enlisted force in the same way ... but how did they do it?

The Charleston AFB Top 3 Association is a group of Senior NCOs devoted to helping Charleston's enlisted force. The Top 3 is an Air Force-wide organization.

Members of the base's Top 3 participate in various community service activities as part of their mission. They support the Adopt-a-Highway program, volunteer at the Lowcountry Food Bank and visit veterans at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center once a quarter. They also participate in the Habitat for Humanity program once a month, volunteer at the Airmen's Center every Wednesday and ask Airmen questions concerning Air Force-related issues during the Airman Leadership School leadership board. Additionally, Top 3 members brief each First Term Airmen's Center class on leadership and followership, drill and ceremony, the SNCO board and enlisted heritage.

In addition to their normal routine of community service events, they also do other things to boost the morale of Airmen on base. In July, they hosted the annual Top 3 Steak-out to raise money for the Oktoberfest, which is scheduled for today.

"Being in the Top 3 is a great opportunity to help enlisted Airmen and give back to the community," said Master Sgt. Timothy Miller, 437th Operations Support Squadron NCO in charge of aircrew flight equipment and president of the Charleston AFB Top 3 Association. "It also gives a chance for SNCOs to spend time and share stories with other SNCOs and learn from each other. It's a great way to network."

Members of the Top 3 also implemented a new program this year called the Top 3 Recognition Program to highlight Airmen who stand out above the rest. When a Top 3 member finds an Airman who impresses them, they present the Airman with a Top 3 card that the Airman will then present to their first sergeant. Then, the Airman has the opportunity to shadow the SNCO who selected them at the next Top 3 meeting. The SNCO would buy the Airman their lunch, coin them and recognize them for why they thought the Airman was excellent in front of other SNCO members at the meeting.

"It's a perfect opportunity for SNCOs to establish proper implementation of the Air Force vision," said Master Sgt. Steven Mossbarger, 437th Logistics Readiness Squadron NCO in charge of war readiness and a Top 3 member.

Starting with their upcoming meeting Nov. 9, the Top 3 has changed their usual lunch meetings to be at 3 p.m. in the Wing's Bar at the Charleston Club to coincide with the command chief master sergeant's hails and farewells for SNCOs at 4:15 p.m. The Top 3 holds monthly meetings every second Friday at 4 p.m. in the Charleston Club.

To be a member of the Top 3, an Airman must be between the ranks of master sergeant (or master sergeant select) and chief master sergeant. Members also pay annual dues of $20 to help support events for Charleston AFB's enlisted force. Upon becoming a member, the Airman will receive a Top 3 shirt or coin.

Officers for the Charleston AFB Top 3 Association include the following: Sergeant Miller, president, Master Sgt. David Stinard, vice president, Senior Master Sgt. Gerald Layden, treasurer, Master Sgt. Tim Gibson, secretary, and Master Sgt. Evelyn Serafica, membership publicist. Members who pay dues will be allowed to participate in the election of new officers. The voting will take place Nov. 9 to Dec. 7 electronically via e-mail to to allow deployed members the chance to vote.

"This was the best year of my life as the president of the Top 3," said Sergeant Miller. "I got the chance to meet a lot of people I wouldn't have had the chance to meet. And it's just great knowing I made a difference to Team Charleston by being a member of the Top 3."

For more information or to join the Top 3, contact a member of the Top 3 or Sergeant Miller at 963-3950.