Join a private organization, boost morale, pride

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Natasha Stannard
  • 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Airmen contribute to the Air Force every day with their commitment to service, but contributions don't stop there. They can also participate in military private organizations, which not only helps others, but can instill a sense of personal pride.

There are 42 morale-boosting private organizations here made up of groups, squadrons, sections, enlisted ranks and officer grades. The purpose of these organizations is to raise money for morale programs and activities, fundraisers, charity events, and for families in need, said George Price, 52nd Force Support Squadron special events coordinator.

"People within squadron sections, enlisted ranks or officer grades are automatically members and are encouraged to participate in private orgnanizations," Price said.

For example, a first sergeant is automatically a member of the 1st Shirts Association and can participate in and attend the group's meetings. However, some organizations require members to pay dues to become an active member.

Participating in any private organization not only helps others, but it can help individuals grow, Price explained.

"It's really a career-broadening thing," Price said of participating in a private organization. "It gives Airmen a unique chance to deal with the public, and it helps organizations grow and become closer especially [organizations with] junior Airmen."

First IV, a private organization run by junior Airmen who hold monthly meetings, is one organization Airmen can make a contribution to the 52nd Fighter Wing.

"[First IV] allowed me to help fellow Airmen, I was in charge of a group that made a difference, and it brought several young minds together enabling us to learn from one another," said Airman 1st Class Gustavo Rosas, 52nd Communications Squadron network security technician and former First IV president. "Nothing gives me more pride than helping others and putting my uniform on in the morning knowing that I'm part of something entirely larger than my life."

Rosas' advice to fellow Airmen is to join private organizations like the First IV to challenge themselves, build a strong network together and give back to others and the Air Force.

One way the First IV gave back to the base was by teaming up with the 1st Shirts Association to host "Dorm Wars" -- a barbecue that included activities, games and prizes.
"Last summer, 'Dorm Wars' alone allowed us to give away $500 in prizes," Rosas said of the morale-instilling fundraiser.

These two weren't the only private organizations to raise funds. Twenty-two private organizations gave back to the Air Force by participating in last year's open house, collectively raising more than $100,000 to support Airmen and their families, Price said.

If Airmen are interested in participating in a private organization and have not yet received information from organizations they fall into can contact Price at DSN 452-7849 or 06565-61-7849.