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54 complete additional-duty first sergeant training

The Additional-Duty First Sergeant Symposium participants learn about the responsibilities of a first sergeant May 8, 2013, at the Leadership Development Center on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. The training was designed for technical sergeants and above, prepared NCOs and Senior NCOs for duties and responsibilities of a first sergeant. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Phillip Houk/Released)

The Additional-Duty First Sergeant Symposium participants learn about the responsibilities of a first sergeant May 8, 2013, at the Leadership Development Center on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. The training was designed for technical sergeants and above, prepared NCOs and Senior NCOs for duties and responsibilities of a first sergeant. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Phillip Houk/Released)

Additional-Duty First Sergeant Symposium participants listen to a lecture concerning dorm room inspections May 8, 2013, at the Leadership Development Center on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. This training focused on the ability of a first sergeant to respond to a wide variety of scenarios not typically encountered as a supervisor. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Phillip Houk/Released)

Additional-Duty First Sergeant Symposium participants listen to a lecture concerning dorm room inspections May 8, 2013, at the Leadership Development Center on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. This training focused on the ability of a first sergeant to respond to a wide variety of scenarios not typically encountered as a supervisor. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Phillip Houk/Released)

Four chief master sergeants answer questions from the participants of the week long additional-duty first sergeant symposium May 11, 2013, at the Leadership Development Center on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. The chiefs shared their experiences relating to first sergeant duty and answered questions the new additional-duty first sergeants had concerning their new responsibilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Riley Johnson/Released)

Four chief master sergeants answer questions from the participants of the week long additional-duty first sergeant symposium May 11, 2013, at the Leadership Development Center on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. The chiefs shared their experiences relating to first sergeant duty and answered questions the new additional-duty first sergeants had concerning their new responsibilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Riley Johnson/Released)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Fifty-four Team Buckley grade officers, Senior NCOs and NCOs graduated the Additional-Duty First Sergeant Symposium May 10 at the Buckley Leadership Development Center.

The five day symposium, hosted by the Buckley First Sergeant Council, taught technical sergeants and above how to deal with many different scenarios faced as an additional-duty first sergeant.

"An additional-duty first sergeant is somebody in a unit that is not authorized a first sergeant billet, but fills in and does the job of a first sergeant in addition to their regular duties," said Master Sgt. Brian Hickey, 460th Security Forces Squadron first sergeant."

According to Hickey, because of the small size of Buckley, only a few units are authorize an immensely trained, diamond-wearing first sergeant. This limitation requires the services of additional-duty first sergeants throughout the base.

Much of the training forced participants to think outside of their normal mindset and begin looking at problems like a first sergeant.

"I know for me, I did not do the symposium, and my first weekend as a first sergeant I got a call for domestic violence," said Master Sgt. Robert Rogers, 566th Intelligence Squadron deputy signals intelligence mission director. "You get these calls you are not prepared to deal with, and there is nothing that you can do that prepares you for it, other than this. I know that without this training, it was a steep learning curve."

Participants completed many classes, discussions and exercises all designed to help them succeed as an additional-duty first sergeant.

"It's been more than I thought it would be with the questions that they have. We could sit there for 15 to 16 hours and keep going," said Senior Master Sgt. Stephen Santos, 566th IS first sergeant. "I have to force these guys to go on break.

For some, the training was not only important for the skills needed as an additional-duty first sergeant, but also the networking opportunities it created.

"This was a great class and allowed us all to meet other people who are going to be additional-duty first sergeants," said Master Sgt. Adam Ferguson, 460th Space Wing Staff additional-duty first sergeant. "It is important to get to know our additional-duty first sergeants and, more importantly, (get) to know our first sergeants better. It really teaches you who to contact and bounce ideas off of when problems arise."
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