News: Future SNCOs learn from seminar, CMSAF Cody
Story by Airman Tara Williamson
JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. - A four-day professional development course for senior noncommissioned officers was held July 15-18, 2013, to prepare new SNCOs for their next level of leadership.
The induction seminar is a four-day professional development course. It includes topics like team building and motivation, airmen and NCO development, counseling and mentoring, SNCO career progression and standards and discipline.
A panel of first sergeants spoke to the 75 future master sergeants July 17 about topics such as maintaining humility when gaining that next stripe and getting to know the airmen in their unit.
“The biggest (purpose) is to prepare you and to answer any type of questions that they’re going to have,” said Master Sgt. Ricardo Pena, 87th Communications Squadron first sergeant and Hanford, Calif., native. “Day one of wearing the master sergeant stripe, people will look at you different. You aren’t going to be a sergeant, it’s going to be ‘good morning master sergeant.’ I remember that, day one going through the gate, that’s how it was. It’s a big difference.”
The seminar is also used for answering questions the technical sergeants have, such as how to motivate younger airmen. They asked the speakers if they have any insight to give to them, or if they’ve encountered jaw-dropping moments in their first sergeant position.
The best part of the seminar was career progression for Tech. Sgt. Josh Coddington, 373rd Training Squadron hydraulics instructor and Lebanon, Ore., native.
“Knowing the next step and what it takes was helpful,” he said. “My goal is to retire as a master sergeant, but it would be foolish of me to say, ‘OK, I made master, but now I’m just going to sit here,’ as opposed to, ‘I made master I’m good with that, but I want to continue to strive.’”
Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Williams, 818th Global Mobility Readiness Squadron quality assurance and Centralia, Wash., native, had originally set a goal for herself to retire as a technical sergeant.
“But I made (technical sergeant) at 10 and I thought, ‘now I have to do something for the next 10 years,’” she said. “Before this week I thought that was it, I’m never going to touch equipment ever again. I’m not going to really get to do the one-on-one with people ever again. Now looking at all the different options as a master, seeing some of the special duties, like first sergeant or instructor, it’s been good for learning what’s available to us now.”
Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody arrived at the joint base July 19 as guest speaker for the SNCO induction ceremony to recognize their accomplishment in making it to the next tier it their military careers.
At an all-call held for the base earlier in the day, Cody talked about reduction in force, being a resilient force, his view on the airmen behind the strength of the Air Force, sexual assault and how other countries don’t have the personnel the U.S. military has and how the personnel makes the U.S. military the strongest military world-wide.
The chief touched on several topics from the all-call at the ceremony, but focused on reminding the inductees to remain humble and to “keep their aperture open” while stepping into a new level in their military professions.
As a special gift to Cody, the Top 3 Association presented him with a check for $300 toward the Air Force Enlisted Village.
After the presentation, each inductee took the stage, some with family members escorting them, to receive their certificates and take their walk down the red carpet through a saber detail.