First Sergeant Symposium mentors enlisted leaders

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jasmine Barnes
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs

 Team Moody hosted a First Sergeant Symposium April 11 to April 15, 2022, for noncommissioned officers aspiring to become first sergeants at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia.

The bi-annual event gave attendees an opportunity to learn the skills necessary to become a first sergeant while also providing information on the helping agencies available to support Airmen.

“The bigger picture is to train our replacements,” said Master Sgt. Aaron Hellman, 23rd Medical Group first sergeant. “These individuals will have to decide if they’re going to want to pursue the first sergeant path and it gives them an idea of what they’d be getting into if they decide to go down that road.”

The symposium included a number of discussion panels, engaging scenario activities and informational briefings to prepare attendees for future challenges.

“We try to cover as many topics that we feel would be beneficial for these technical and master sergeants,” Hellman said. “We cover (discipline) information, suicide prevention and sexual assault response and prevention.”

In addition to these topics, various base helping agencies showcased ways to assist Moody Airmen.

“We get a bunch of different support agencies from across the base out here,” Hellman said. “We get mental health, family advocacy, the Area Defense Council, and other agencies that we work with often.”

For Tech. Sgt. Jeffrey Maxson, 23rd Security Forces Squadron NCO in charge of combat arms, becoming a first sergeant is one way he hopes to provide the same support he once received as an Airman.

“In the future, I do want to be a first sergeant and help Airmen,” Maxson said. ”I’ve had my troubles in my career and I’ve been in their shoes, but just because you did something doesn’t mean that’s who you are. It’s not about what you did; it’s about how you come back from it. I want to be able to help Airmen like I’ve had supervisors and first sergeants help me.”

The First Sergeant Symposium course is beneficial for all leadership roles. Recognizing ways to navigate challenges and solve problems with Airmen highlights the importance of both mission and mentorship.

“Be the supervisor you always wanted,” Maxson said. “Whenever you’re in that first sergeant role, it’s meant for you to help them. You’re going to talk to them in their best times and worst times, so just be there for them.”

To sign up for the next symposium, contact Master Sgt. Timothy Riley at 229-257-9903.