Former MTI now pushes flight as diamond
By Airman 1st Class Samantha Saulsbury, 460th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published April 01, 2014
Buckley AFB, Colo. -- Since the beginning of his career, Master Sgt. Jesse White, 460th Medical Group first sergeant, has had a knack for molding excellent Airmen.
"I hope my Airmen strive to be the best Airmen they can be," White said. " I want my Airmen to succeed."
White served as a role model to the future of the Air Force as a military training instructor for five years, eventually continuing on to become a first sergeant. As a first sergeant, he is still able to help Airmen become the best they can be.
"I'm a hands-on person, that's why I liked being an MTI," White said. "You get to take someone that has no idea about the military and you make them an Airman. Now, as a shirt, I get to continue to watch them advance and grow."
Although transitioning from an MTI to a first sergeant prepared White for his future duties, it wasn't free of challenges. According to White, the difficulties of a being a first sergeant surpass those of being an MTI. He elaborated by saying it takes a lot more work for someone that has been in the military for a few years to trust and respect him.
"When you're an MTI, you're expected to be loud," White said. "As a first sergeant, I have to rely a lot more on my personal power to make things happen. If I go in there and make obnoxious noises and things like that, I'm obviously going to lose respect."
White serves as an advisor; someone he hopes Airmen will feel safe approaching for any reason.
"Things like advising the commander when it comes to awards programs, that's what we're there for," White stressed. "I hope I can be that individual that people come to either for advice or to help out. Any way that I can prevent Airmen from doing something that's going to misstep them on their career, that's the way I see my job. I try to focus my energy on preventing those things."
While some Airmen might associate negative connotations with first sergeants, White explains that they are inaccurate, saying that he is only an advisor when it comes to disciplinary actions.
"A big misconception is that first sergeants are the disciplinarian," White said. "I think that's the negative aspect of what we deal with. But it's not always hugs. My philosophy is to take care of people. "
White speaks highly of his Airmen, saying they continue to be the number one reason he has the most rewarding job.
"The people make it all worth it," he said.