Who will help me lead this Wing? Will you?

  • Published
  • By Command Chief Master Sgt. Robert Dobson
  • 127th Wing
Who will help me lead this Wing? Will you?

That may sound strange coming from an enlisted guy. Many think it is the Wing Commander's job to lead the Wing. Or, perhaps, all commanders. Or even all officers. But I would argue that leadership is also an essential responsibility of our NCOs, Senior NCOs and especially Chiefs.

We are not just called to be technical experts in our AFSCs - it is our job to provide real leadership in our squadrons and groups. And Chiefs also need to provide leadership across the Wing. Col Thomas, Lt Col Sheridan and I are all in agreement - we need to build a strong cadre of enlisted leaders in the 127th Wing to partner with our officers in moving the Wing forward. And we will do this in several ways. One of these is through enlisted promotion boards.

Moving forward we will board all enlisted promotions for NCO and Senior NCO ranks. A Senior NCO will chair each enlisted promotion Board. A Chief will chair each Senior Master Sergeant Board and the Command Chief will chair boards for promotion to Chief Master Sergeant. If you are a Senior NCO, you may be asked to serve on some of these boards to help determine who is ready to assume a higher level of leadership. The Board Chair will then provide the unit commander with one of three recommendations: Promote, Do Not Promote or Reconsider After X-number of Months. The process details are not all worked out yet but the expectation has been set - enlisted promotions to the grades of E5 and above will only occur after the member has been appropriately boarded.

Are you an NCO or SNCO who would like to get promoted? Here is how you can prepare to meet your promotion board:

* Memorize the Airman's Creed. This is critical to our warrior ethos, we need to clearly understand who we are. You will be expected to recite this at your Board.

* Know the responsibilities of the rank to which you hope to be promoted. If you do not already have one, get a copy of AFI 36-2618 (dtd 27 Feb 09), also known as "The Little Brown Book". This pamphlet clearly describes the responsibilities of the enlisted force at each rank.

* Be responsible in your current position. Become proficient in your AFSC. Meet Air Force requirements such as, but not limited to, fitness, security and financial responsibility.

* Be a Wingman. Get to know those around you and provide help where needed.

* Seek opportunities to serve above and beyond your regular work area responsibilities. This could mean volunteering to serve on the Annual Ball committee, organizing a fitness activity for your squadron, or helping write awards packages for your section. NCOs, consult with your supervisors or First Sergeants for additional ideas. Senior NCOs, contact your Chiefs for guidance.

It is both natural and honorable for us to strive for higher levels of responsibility. And, I would suggest, it is exactly that - a higher level of responsibility. In the past we have seen some NCOs get promoted simply because they had been around the longest or because they were the most technically proficient in their AFSCs. Sometimes this resulted in ill-equipped NCOs which is unfair both to them and to those in their chains of command. Moving forward, however, NCO promotions will focus more heavily on leadership skills and abilities.

Are you ready for the next level?

Are you developing your leadership skills?

Will you help me lead?