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Buckley’s joint private organizations foster leadership, personal growth

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The Department of Defense needs leaders who teach by example, set the standard high and raise the bar for personal growth and development.

Private organizations are groups that help foster that leadership and growth. They allow people with similar interests to engage in activities about which they feel passionate. These organizations have leadership positions such as president, vice-president and secretary, giving service members a good place to start learning or continue developing leadership skills and values.

Many Buckley private organizations are open to all service branches and include Buckley Against Drunk Driving, Better Opportunities for Single Servicemembers, Joint Junior Enlisted Group, Dorm Council, Buckley's 5/6, Buckley's Top 3, Company Grade Officer Council and unit booster clubs and more.

"Being a part of Better Opportunities for Single Servicemembers has forced me to learn how to delegate work down to subordinates and rely on their work ethic, while making sure to not attempt to do everything myself," said Airman 1st Class Nicholas Heaton, 460th Space Communication Squadron network administrator and BOSS president.

It has shown him how to form committees and figure out leadership qualities in others to determine which positions they best fill, a skill needed for leaders in any military or civilian organization, he added.

Aside from personal growth and leadership development, being a part of a professional organization fosters long-lasting relationships that extend beyond rank and service boundaries.

"The Company Grade Officer Council provided great networking opportunities," said 1st Lt. Aaron Summers, 460th Operations Group executive officer. "When various challenges required me to reach out to base agencies, I already had those connections."

Airman 1st Class Lorenzo Ross, 2nd Space Warning Squadron space system operator and Buckley Against Drunk Driving president, agreed that being part of a private organization has many benefits, including a sense of pride.

"Airman involved gain a place to belong, making something our own that we can be proud of. It's important to get involved in activities outside of work because it brings us together has a whole," Ross added.

Getting involved in private and professional organizations can help service members foster leadership development, molding them into top-notch leaders that embody the whole-person concept -- exactly what the DOD needs.

"When I joined the Air Force, I told myself that if I'm not challenging myself on a daily basis I would be doing something wrong," Ross said. "I really wanted to do something that was way out of my comfort zone. (Becoming president) was the perfect opportunity to really test myself. There is no better feeling than knowing that what you're doing has a direct impact on someone else's well-being."

Both Airmen said they feel that private organizations promote a strong, positive image of the military and foster American pride.

"It just feels good to be involved in something that benefits others," Ross said.
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