Spangdahlem AB hosts symposium for future First Sergeants

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Imani West
  • 52nd Fighter Wing

The Spangdahlem Air Base First Sergeant Council hosted a symposium for potential future First Sergeants here, May 20-23.

The biennial training for non-commissioned officers aspiring to become “first shirts” provided guidance on what it takes to become a first sergeant or an additional duty first sergeant.

“I think symposiums like this are incredibly important. It's a chance for us to pour into our frontline leaders,” said Chief Master Sgt. George Baker, U.S. Air Forces in Europe - Air Forces Africa command first sergeant. “If you have this knowledge and you want to be a good leader, then it equips you to become a better person (for the job of a first sergeant).”

First sergeants bridge the gap between Airmen and their unit’s senior leadership, serving as a voice for their welfare, maintaining unit morale and providing a safe environment for those needing to talk about life stressors.

The symposium included a wide array of discussion topics, including mental health resources, dorm housing, medical evaluation boards, emergency leave, mortuary affairs, casualty assistance and promotions. Attendees also had the opportunity to role-play in simulated scenarios they might encounter, such dormitory inspections and disputes between Airmen and their families.

“We are here to help take care of Airmen so they can take care of the mission,” said Master Sgt. Lindsey Griffin, 726th Air Mobility Squadron first sergeant. “Whether it’s work, personal, medical, financial, etc. We’re that independent third party that can sit there and listen to them, help them get back into the fight and make sure they don't have to struggle alone.”