We are First Sergeants
By Senior Master Sgt. Eric Dugger, Air Reserve Personnel Center
/ Published February 01, 2012
BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- They wake up at 4:30 a.m. to be at the fitness center at 5 a.m. They workout, head back home, and change into the uniform for the day. They talk their spouse for a few minutes, kiss the children and tell them they will see them later and head off to work. They are in the office by 7:15 a.m. and get a phone call as soon as they sit down. During this day, four meetings will be attended, six more phone calls will be taken, there will be a retirement and promotion ceremony to attend, and 75 e-mails to answer. They head home at 7:30 p.m., sit down and eat dinner, kiss the children goodnight and plan for the next day. Whose day is this? I am sure you have guessed, this is the typical day for a First Sergeant.
When most people think of First Sergeants, the first thing that comes to mind is discipline. First Sergeants are not disciplinarians, we simply provide the unit commander with information, so commanders can make an informed decision on any given situation. As a matter of fact, if you look at the typical day of a First Sergeant, it does not involve discipline. Our day is consumed with the development and welfare of our enlisted Airmen.
In accordance with Air Force Instruction 36-2113, The First Sergeant, First Sergeants are responsible for providing sound advice to the commander on a wide range of topics including the health, esprit de corps, discipline, mentoring, well-being, career progression, recognition and professional development of all assigned enlisted members. Furthermore, their knowledge is useful in the development and welfare of officers and the civilian workforce. Additionally, the First Sergeant must remain vigilant for, and move to resolve, issues that, left unchecked, would adversely impact an Airman's readiness. First Sergeants accomplish this by working closely with their fellow Senior Non-commissioned Officers and first-line supervisors. And lastly, First Sergeants utilize support agencies to enhance personnel readiness and provide personal assistance to unit members and their families.
First Sergeants are trusted counselors who provide commanders sound advice on a wide range of topics, work with their fellow Senior Noncommissioned Officers to ensure the development and welfare of all Airmen, and work diligently with support agencies to enhance personnel readiness and ensure unit members and their families have the necessities to not only optimize personal needs, but also mission accomplishment.
We are not disciplinarians. Even though the typical day I gave you in the beginning does not have any discipline, some days do. There are no two days alike in the life of a First Sergeant. I am proud to be a First Sergeant. First Sergeants represent the epitome of integrity and exemplify the core values of the U.S. Air Force. It's a position that has a profound impact on the unit, base and the Air Force. If you believe the Air Force has not been what you expected and you have the energy, initiative, motivation, and innovation to make a change, then become a First Sergeant; I know of no other group of Air Force professionals who has had a greater impact on the daily lives of our men and women.