VALDOSTA, Ga. -- Walking underneath a saber arch, signifying their official commemoration as new master sergeants, Moody leaders joined the Air Force’s highest enlisted tier during a Senior NCO Induction Ceremony, July 27, in Valdosta, Ga.
Although different journeys led these Airmen to this point, prior to the ceremony, they combined experiences and shared lessons during Moody’s SNCO Professional Enhancement Seminar.
For Tech. Sgt. Devon Godinez, 74th Aircraft Maintenance Unit support section chief, the most exciting aspect of her 17-year career has now come to fruition.
“I’ve wanted to be in this position since I’ve joined the Air Force,” said Godinez. “Knowing that I’ve been entrusted to be a leader of Airmen and can continue to take care of people is important to me.”
According to Godinez, the biggest challenges of her new role will be keeping her Airmen motivated and helping them to understand the big picture of the mission. She hopes to do that through her influence and her experiences gained from the seminar.
“The activities, lessons and information from the chiefs, commanders, first sergeants and even our instructor, [who is] a career assistance advisor, have made this the most unique professional development course,” said Godinez. “There was a lot of information I wasn’t familiar with prior to this event. I now have a more broadened perspective. As you start going up the ranks, you want to increase your world-view and experience. This has been a great eye-opener.”
In an ever-changing Air Force, having multiple outlooks and problem-solving skills is important. According to Master Sgt. Jennifer Smith, SNCO Professional Enhancement Seminar instructor, the seminar’s developmental platform is key to preparing and equipping the newest master sergeants.
“The seminar provides our new master sergeants with the tools needed to effectively lead people and manage programs,” said Smith. “From reinforcing the enlisted force structure and our institutional competencies to providing information on available resources from supporting base agencies, our newest additions to the SNCO tier are better prepared for their future roles.”
Throughout the week, the group learned about Air Force priorities, doctrine and institutional competencies which clearly define roles and responsibilities necessary to accomplish the mission. Additionally, ethics, core values and expectations were reemphasized and reinforced.
As a SNCO, Smith said setting her new peers up for success was an honor.
“Welcoming our newest leaders to the Top 3 is a phenomenal feeling,” said Smith. “The excitement they brought to the course has been invigorating. Every year, I have the opportunity to mentor our newest SNCOs and it is a daunting task, but an extremely important one to get right.
“Ensuring that our SNCOs are equipped to succeed in their future roles is paramount,” Smith added. “Upon completing the SNCO Professional Enhancement Seminar, I hope they feel like they have some of the tools needed to lead our Airmen and accomplish our mission.”
Emerging from underneath the saber arch, smiling as a photographer captures her basking in the moment of accomplishment, Godinez hopes she proves Smith right and applies the lessons of the course.
“It’s been an incredible journey and I hope to continue a lengthy career,” said Godinez. “It’s a privilege being a part of the top enlisted tier. Having the accessibility to talk to leadership and share ideas with them and my peers has been rewarding. I’m ready to get back to my shop, help my people and embrace the next challenge.”