Leadership News

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

6th CMSAF: Lead people instead of trying to manage them

by Senior Airman Benjamin Stratton
92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

7/31/2012 - FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- Retired Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James McCoy visited Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., July 27 to be the guest speaker for the senior NCO induction ceremony.

While at Fairchild, McCoy spoke at an enlisted all-call and toured the base talking with Airmen on many important subjects in particular, the chief focused on effective leadership and education.

"My philosophy has always been to lead people instead of trying to manage them," he said. "Be brief, be bright and be gone."

As a first sergeant, Master Sgt. Michael Roberts said he was excited to hear the chief holds professional military education with high regards as he also focuses on education as he mentors young Airmen in his group.

"One of the key messages I took away from Chief McCoy is that professional military education is key to developing our Airmen," the 92nd Operations Group first sergeant said. "If we want to continue to be the greatest enlisted force, we need to fight to keep our PME schools alive."

McCoy retired from active duty in November 1981 with more than 30 years of service. He still tours the country speaking with Airmen of all ranks offering helpful and insightful advice.

"Take care of your people," he said. "And for our younger Airmen, listen to those appointed over you -- you may just learn something."

The chief said he couldn't have been more impressed with the mission focus at Team Fairchild.

"It delights me to no end," McCoy said. "It gives me a great sense of pride and accomplishment to see how successful our service has become and to see the high quality of men and women serving our country today."

When asked if he'd serve again, he exclaimed, "You bet your life I'd serve again!"

But jokingly he added, "I don't think they'd take me now."

National Guard senior leaders to host Outstanding Soldiers and Airmen of the Year banquet

by Army National Guard Sgt. Darron Salzer
National Guard Bureau

7/31/2012 - ARLINGTON, Va. (7/30/12) -- Senior leaders from the National Guard will host the 2012 Outstanding Soldiers and Airmen of the Year banquet, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. August 24 at the Sheraton Pentagon City Hotel.

"The National Guard Bureau is excited to host a banquet in honor of our outstanding Soldiers and Airmen from this year," said Chief Master Sgt. Denise Jelinski-Hall, senior enlisted leader of the National Guard Bureau.

The banquet is held each year in honor of the top Soldiers and Airmen from both the Army and Air National Guard.

This year's Army National Guard honorees are:

Army National Guard Soldier of the Year: TBD

Army National Guard Noncommissioned officer of the Year: TBD

Army National Guard Recruiter of the Year:
· Sgt. 1st Class Craig Wester, Arizona Army National Guard

Army National Guard Best Ranger Team Top Placers:
· Staff Sgt. Matthew Madiar, Illinois Army National Guard
· Sgt. 1st Class Zachery Phillips, Oregon Army National Guard
· Cpt. Robert Killian, Colorado Army National Guard
· 1st Lt. Nicholas Plocar, Wisconsin Army National Guard

The top Soldier and noncommissioned officer of the year for the Army Guard will be determined during the Army National Guard's Best Warrior Competition at Fort Benning, Ga. July 30 - Aug. 3.

Army Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Burch, command sergeant major of the Army National Guard - who is en route to the Best Warrior Competition - said, "As the command sergeant major of the Army National Guard, I am looking forward to honoring our top Soldiers and noncommissioned officers from each of the regions around the U.S.

"They will soon be competing at the Army National Guard's Best Warrior Competition down at Fort Benning to see who among them is the best of the best - but, really, they are all the best and have worked hard to prove that to themselves and the Army National Guard," Burch said.

The Air National Guard honorees for this year are:

Air National Guard Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year:
· Senior Master Sgt. Luke W. Thompson, 125th Special Tactics Squadron, Oregon
Air National Guard

Air National Guard Noncommissioned Officer of the Year:
· Tech. Sgt. Jacob S. Curtis, 126th Air Refueling Wing, Illinois Air National Guard

Air National Guard Airman of the Year:
· Senior Airman Michael D. McCaffrey, 116th Air Refueling Wing, Washington
Air National Guard

Air National Guard First Sergeant of the Year:
· Master Sgt. Fred W. Hudgins Jr., 161st Air Refueling Wing, Arizona Air
National Guard

Air National Guard Honor Guard Program Manager of the Year:
· Master Sergeant Jeffrey L. Lamarche, Eastern Air Defense Sector, New York
Air National Guard

Air National Guard Honor Guard Member of the Year:
· Staff Sgt. Carrie M. Kline, 122nd Fighter Wing, Indiana Air National Guard

"We celebrate these six Outstanding Airmen who represent the 91,000 amazing ANG enlisted warriors," said Chief Master Sgt. Christopher Muncy, the command chief master sergeant of the Air National Guard. "I wish we could honor all our Guard Soldiers and Airmen like we do these lucky few. They all should be the toast of every town, village, and city in America."

Those lucky few will most certainly be the toast of the District when they are recognized for all of their hard work to rise to the top of their respective services.

"The choice of who will represent the Army and the Air National Guard is never easy, however, individuals who will be honored in August in our nation's capital are truly America's finest Citizen-Warriors, and I very much look forward to meeting each of them," Jelinski-Hall said.

Face of Defense: Coma Survivor Works to Improve Others' Lives

By Army Spc. Jamie Philbrook
1st Theater Sustainment Command

FORT BRAGG, N.C., July 31, 2012 - Army Sgt. Merrell Lowe went to a doctor for what he thought was a minor issue, but his next memory was waking up from a coma.
Click photo for screen-resolution image
Army Sgt. Merrell Lowe stops to catch his breath between exercises. On his own time, he conducts daily fitness classes that he developed to help other soldiers. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Jamie Philbrook

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
"I woke up to the beeping noises of the heart monitor. When I opened my eyes, I saw my company commander looking down at me asking if I was OK," said Lowe, an automated logistical specialist with 1st Theater Sustainment Command. "I remember thinking to myself, 'Why is he at my house?' I was completely unaware that I had just spent the past week in a coma. The last thing I remembered was going to the doctor for a cramp in my leg."

In 2010, Lowe found himself consumed with a demanding job and long hours that left little time for anything else. In a few short months, lack of proper nutrition and fitness put his health in danger and his life at risk. His blood sugar spiked to more than 10 times higher than normal, causing a diabetic coma.

"I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and rhabdomyolysis," Lowe explained. Rhabdomyolysis is a condition in which the muscle fibers break down, releasing myoglobin into the bloodstream.

"After waking up from that state, I came to the conclusion that I would not be back in the hospital again," Lowe said. "From that point on, I said, 'This is it'. Once I got out of there, the healthy eating [and] the training started immediately."

After struggling to meet the Army's physical fitness and weight standards, Lowe took matters into his own hands. He created a system that worked. Later, he found success implementing his system to help other soldiers with their fitness.

"I 'guinea pigged' myself," he said. "I went out and did exercises to see if I would improve. I started focusing on eating, exercising and praying so I could get back to helping soldiers."

That was more than two years ago. Now, Lowe can be found helping others who are struggling with weight, fitness and nutrition.

While physical fitness is a staple of everyday military life, some soldiers need a little extra help in that department. Whether it is to improve Army Physical Fitness Test scores, to get back in shape after having a baby, or to recover from an injury, the command's soldiers seek out Lowe.

During the duty day, Lowe, the operations noncommissioned officer in charge, can be found in the orderly room of the 1st TSC Headquarters and Headquarters Company. However, while most soldiers are enjoying their lunches or are home with their families after the duty day, Lowe is at various facilities on and off post, helping others get to where they need and strive to be.

When Army Sgt. 1st Class Mary Upshaw found out about an upcoming duty assignment, she knew she needed to take her physical fitness to the next level. She went straight to Lowe for that additional support.

"I am about to go to a new and challenging job as an advanced individual training platoon sergeant," Upshaw said. "I knew with [the AIT soldiers] being so young that I was going to have the extra challenge of keeping up with them."

Upshaw rapidly noticed drastic improvements, not only in her physical capabilities, but also in her overall health.

"I am no longer sluggish in the morning," she said. "I am full of energy. I can run further and faster, and the weight loss has been phenomenal."

Noting that he had to work through a rough period with his health, weight and physical fitness, Lowe said he encourages others who may be having some of the same struggles to join him during his workout sessions.

"You are going to get maximum results," he said. "I am out here doing it with you. I may laugh and joke, but I am hurting just like you." Lowe said he uses humor to cover up the pain he endures.

"No one helped me, so I want to help others," he said. "I love helping people. It's who I am. It's my personality." Lowe also runs a two-week recovery program to ease injured soldiers back into physical training.

Upshaw is among many who are grateful for the time Lowe spends helping soldiers.
"I appreciate Sergeant Lowe," she said. "He makes time for anybody that needs that extra push. He is a great motivator."

Monday, July 30, 2012

Reservist earns chaplain assistant award

by Airman 1st Class Brooke P. Beers
18th Wing Public Affairs

7/30/2012 - KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- A Citizen Airman, an award set aside for Air Force Reservists, is someone who can be excellent in all they do in their Air Force career and allow that excellence to pour into their civilian lives.

Staff Sgt. Rachel Barnes, winner of the 2011 Citizen Airman of the Year Award for a Reserve Chaplain Assistant, is a prime example of what being a Citizen Airman is all about.

Although she doesn't work full time, Barnes has still managed to have spent more than 120 hours on 216 services that uplifted 105,000 members all while completing 24 semester hours on the path of earning her aeronautics degree.

On top of her Air Force duties, Barnes is in the process of getting her pilot's license and is dedicating most of her time to being a first-time mom.

She says that being a Reservist allows her to be more flexible with her life and that it gives her the feeling of having the best of both worlds.

"It's a shock and an honor, but I am contributing this award to the team," said Barnes. "When the team wins, you're a part of that."

As a Reservist, working with a unit only one weekend a month and two weeks a year, can present challenges. Without that continuity of going to work every day, she faces the challenge of diving into a work environment that's swinging full force.

"Sometimes it's hard because I'll come in and they will have changed a process," she said "But everyone is so helpful."

AF selects 6 for DOD leadership program

by Debbie Gildea
Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas Six Air Force majors have been selected for the Department of Defense Executive Leadership Development Program, Air Force Personnel Center officials said.

The one-year program – which begins in October – is designed for highly-motivated leaders whose performance has indicated strong aptitude for success in senior management roles, said Lt. Col. Cotina Jenkins-Sellers, AFPC force development and developmental education branch chief.

Primary selectees are Majors Chandler Atwood, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency; Damen Forte, Air Mobility Command; and Phillip Shea, Air Force District of Washington.

Alternates are Majors Roger Bass, Air Force Space Command, and Joel Douglas and Brian Palmer, Air Force Global Strike Command.

Participants will function in a simulated environment where they focus on real-life situations that involve short deadlines and require thoughtful decision-making, Jenkins-Sellers explained.

“Candidates must be receptive to a unique training methodology, able to assume responsibility for their own learning, and be able to conceptualize and analyze problems effectively,” she said.
The course requires intense self-discipline and self-study, she explained. Military members remain in the current assignments throughout the program, with the exception of 95 days that are spent in training, briefings and trips to learning environments

Profile: AETC's 2011 NCO Instructor of the Year

by Dan Hawkins
82nd Training Wing Public Affairs

7/30/2012 - EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- For Tech. Sgt. Ryan Tennyson, Air Education and Training Command's Non-Commissioned Officer Instructor of the Year for 2011, life as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal instructor couldn't get much better.

Whether it be teaching students at Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., or deploying downrange to help prosecute the global war on terrorism, it's the excitement of doing a job that matters drives Tennyson daily.

Assigned to the 366th Training Squadron Field Training Detachment 3 at Eglin, part of the 782nd Training Wing based at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Tennyson earned the annual award not only for his outstanding work educating Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines about improvised explosive devices at NAVSCOLEOD, but also for his deployment time as well.

Tennyson, who's been at NAVSCOLEOD for close to four years, deployed as part of Task Force Troy in Iraq during 2011, acting as the single point of contact within the task force as liaison officer for IED's.

Being an EOD technician is thrilling on many different levels, but the relationships built within the EOD community is what keeps many technicians going through the tough times, both at home station and in the deployed environment.

"The brotherhood we share, that's what I love best about being in EOD," Tennyson said. "It starts right here in tech training and its carried on out to the field and downrange. It's a very tight-knit family."

Being in a position to mentor the newest generation of EOD operators is a satisfying component of being an instructor.

"Showing these students the right way to go about your job and Air Force career is great," Tennyson said. "I work hard every day to make sure they (students) are learning what they need to know to be competent and safe technicians."

Tennyson's work ethic and ability to pass his knowledge on to his students in an extremely technical career field has not gone unnoticed.

"Ryan brings his 'A' game to the training environment every day," said Lt. Col. Jerry Sanchez, 366th TRS Detachment 3 commander. "You can't ask for a better role model for our students."

One of the best things about being an instructor was the chance to spend more time at home with his own family.

"It's not that we don't work long hours here," Tennyson said. "But spending time with my family is my number one priority when I'm not working and I'm grateful this tour at NAVSCOLEOD gave me a little extra time with them."

Headed to Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany and the 52nd Civil Engineering Squadron after he completes his tour as an instructor in the fall, Tennyson could not be more excited to get back out to the field.

"I've had a great time here," he said. "But working out in the field and getting the chance to perform the real-world mission is something we all live to do."

The 782nd Training Group conducts technical training in telecommunications, aircraft systems, avionics, civil engineering, fuels and vehicle operations for more than 13,000 students annually.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Leadership: FBI Citizens’ Academy

The Portland Division is holding one Citizens’ Academy in 2012 (see schedule). The Citizens’ Academy is designed to bring together a diverse group of business and community leaders to learn about the FBI’s work in Oregon and around the world. There are six evening sessions and one weekday session. Participants are required to attend all sessions and to complete a background investigation prior to admittance. After graduation, participants have the opportunity to join the Oregon FBI Citizens’ Academy Alumni Association and to continue the partnership with our office.

Due to high demand, the selection process is competitive and acceptance is not guaranteed. Application packets (pdf) are now being accepted for the 2012 class. Please complete the application and mail the packet to FBI Citizens’ Academy, P.O. Box 709, Portland, OR 97207; fax the packet to FBI Citizens’ Academy, (503) 552-5400; or scan the packet into a .pdf file and e-mail it to the Public Affairs Office. The application is in a fillable document format. Open the document, type in the required information, print it, and send it in one of the ways listed above. Applications are due no later than Friday, July 27, 2012.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Face of Defense: Young Marine Leads Others

By Marine Corps Cpl. Jonathan Wright
31st Marine Expeditionary Unit

SHOALWATER BAY, Australia, July 2, 2012 – He may barely be past his teen years, but Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Theodore Kavich, a fire team leader with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit here, is responsible for the management and care of three Marines in his squad.

Outside the Marine Corps, not many 20-year-olds bear the burden of leadership, especially in matters as serious as combat.

“I just got out of my teenage years, and here I am directing my Marines in things like response to enemy contact,” said Kavich, a native of Pasadena, Calif. “Having this responsibility at the age of 20 is not only an honor, but a welcomed challenge.”

Kavich grew up listening to battle stories told by his grandfather, a Marine Corps veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars. Regaled with these tales, he entered adulthood knowing that if he joined the Corps, it would be as an infantryman.

“Joining the Marine Corps was something I always had in my mind, but I didn’t want to join fresh out of high school,” Kavich said. “I wanted to come in with a little experience.” So after graduating from high school at 17, he went to college for two years and gained some life experience. When he figured he had gone to college long enough and before he missed any opportunities, he enlisted at 19 years of age.

His first assignment, after infantry school, was to his current unit -- 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. Kavich’s potential for leadership was recognized immediately.

“When he first came to the unit, he took the initiative to help other Marines and get things done,” said squad leader Marine Corps Cpl. Moses Weaver. “For those reasons, I put him in the fire team leader position, and he caught right on. Whatever task I gave him, he took care of it right there.”

One year later, Kavich finds himself in Australia on his second deployment with the 31st MEU. He leads his fire team in preparation for an attack during Exercise Hamel 2012, the multi-national training evolution between the Marines of the 31st MEU and the Australian and New Zealand armies.

“That little time he spent between high school and joining the Marine Corps gave him a little time as an adult, which shows in how he leads us,” said Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jonathan Munday, a member of Kavich’s fire team. “He’s not a leader that dictates; he works with us and listens to any ideas we may have and implements them into his plans if he thinks it’s necessary. We’re very confident following his lead.”

The Marine Corps places the responsibility of military leadership and expectations of sound judgment on young Marines. Kavich said, noting that was part of the attraction for him.

“You join the Marine Corps knowing there’s a near-guarantee you will be deployed,” he said. “That attracts the people who are up for the challenge, especially of becoming an infantryman, regardless of their age. They feel they are ready for whatever is to be expected of them.”

As for the future, Kavich said, he will see how the rest of his initial contract will play out. But those in his fire team say his leadership traits could take him far if he were to continue his service.

“When he gives an order, there’s no questioning it,” Munday said. “He knows what he’s doing, is confident in that decision and has our interests in mind when making it.” Some Marines need to lead for years to develop those traits, he added, but Kavich already grasps them.

Exercise Hamel 2012 is a certification exercise for the Australian army’s 1st Brigade. Marines are acting as the opposition force for the Australians, bringing a unique set of tactics to the training environment.

The 31st is the only continuously forward-deployed Marine expeditionary unit.