All posts by wwarburton

Week in Photos, Mar. 9, 2012

Finally the weekend is here again. Kick off your shoes, sit back, relax and enjoy this Week in Photos.

Photo: U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Mike Radcliff, 52nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, inspects the exhaust of an F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft after a mission during Exercise Anatolian Falcon 2012 in Konya, Turkey, March 6, 2012. The U.S. and Turkish air forces were flying together during the exercise in an effort to strengthen relationships and ensure regional peace and stability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin Wilson)

Week in Photos, March 2, 2012

March is already upon us. Can you believe it? Here is a great Week in Photos to start off the month!


Photo: A U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refueler aircraft refuels an F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft over the Pacific Ocean during Exercise Cope North 2012, Feb. 16, 2012. The exercise was the latest in a series of multinational exercises designed to enhance each coalition air operation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Asha Kin)

First sergeants are priceless assets to their units

By Master Sgt. Brian McFarland
92nd Medical Group

In the first few years of my Air Force career and more recently over my four-month tenure as an interim first sergeant, I’ve become increasingly familiar with a negative connotation associated with the position of the first sergeant.

More often than not, when I ask the question: “What’s the first thing you think of when you think of a first sergeant?” The responses I’ve received include, “trouble, discipline, problems, standards, and Article 15s.” The majority of these responses come from, but are not limited to first term Airman with less than one year on station.

If you were to reference AFI 36-2113, The First Sergeant, it’s there in black and white ink. Words like “disciplinary actions, standards and authority.” While all of these attributes are vital to the force and serve a very necessary purpose in each and every unit, squadron and group across the Air Force, that’s not all a first sergeant is about. A first sergeant is a priceless asset to the men and women in the unit he/she is assigned to.

First Sergeant

According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, “asset” is defined as “a useful or valuable quality, person, or thing; an advantage or resource.” Every piece of Merriam-Webster’s definition of an asset correlates to an Air Force first sergeant and what they are to the Airmen, NCOs, senior NCOs and officers assigned to their respective unit. The unfortunate truth about the successes had by first sergeants is that nine out of 10 times, they occur behind closed doors and stay between the member requiring some level of assistance, their immediate supervisor and the “shirt.”

You may hear about the trouble going on in the squadron and the discipline as a result of it, or you may see the “shirt” correcting a dress and appearance issue on the spot, and you might know that if an active duty member goes to jail, it’s the first sergeant that gets the call and facilitates the member’s release. At first glance, the aforementioned examples seem to have negative connotations behind them. If you were to look a little deeper and “peel back the onion” on these situations, the positive effect of the first sergeant’s actions will be staring you square in the face.

So, when the first sergeant discussion takes place with a first term Airman, whom for the most part, has a blank active duty canvas eagerly waiting to be painted with positive Air Force images and memories, my challenge to you all is to mention the good in the same breath you mention the bad.

First sergeants work 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week for the members of their respective unit and should the phone ring at three in the morning on a Saturday, your “shirt” will answer, wipe the sleep out of his/her eyes, and provide you with whatever level of assistance you need to facilitate a positive outcome.

Take care of the mission first, take care of each other to build trust and an unbeatable team and take care of yourself with a personal commitment to be the best.

Week in Photos, Feb. 10, 2012

 By A1C Westin Warburton

As this week comes to an end, take some time to check out this Week in Photos. Also, Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, so don’t forget about that special someone!

Photo: U.S. Air force Capt. Thor Boland, Mike Broderick and Brandon Lavalley return from the Nevada Test and Training Range on day three of Red Flag 12-2, Jan. 25, 2012, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The pilots are assigned to the 4th Fighter Squadron at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. (U.S. Air Force photo by  Master Sgt. Benjamin Bloker)

Week in Photos, Jan. 13, 2012

Share by Airman 1st Class Westin Warburton

Air Force Public Affairs Agency

The first two weeks of the new year are behind us and you know what that means, picture time! Come check out all the great photos from the first Air Force week in photos of 2012. Like the awesome picture below of a pararescueman? You can view the entire set of our week in photos here.
Photo: A U.S. Air Force pararescueman parachutes into the drop zone on Camp Atterbury, Ind., June 14, 2011, during a Precision Jumpmaster Course. The three-week course also included ground training at the Kentucky Air Guard Base in Louisville, Ky., and water jump training in Selfridge, Mich. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Phil Speck)