by Staff Sgt. Nicholas Rau
460th Space Wing Public Affairs
5/6/2013 - BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- There
are some additional duties in the Air Force for which Airmen volunteer;
there are some that they are "volun-told" for; and then there are
duties exclusive to a limited number of top-notch Airmen.
Additional-duty first sergeants are just that.
"The position is not for everybody," explained Master Sgt. Adam
Ferguson, 460th Space Wing first sergeant and wing safety
superintendent. "There is a tightrope that you walk. Sometimes people
need a gentle hand to get through a situation as opposed to an iron
fist. You need to be able to step out of your comfort zone and be fluid
with your leadership skills."
But leadership is not the only aspect of character that additional-duty
first sergeants, they are in the unique position of having to do their
Air Force specialty on top of the demands of "shirt" duty.
"There is a balancing act between trying to get your regular job done
and your additional duties," said Tech. Sgt. Pourshia Chambers Motley, a
training manger filing the role of first sergeant for the 460th Mission
Support Group. "Additional-duty first sergeants have to be hard
While every job has some form time constraints, a first sergeant falls under a whole new level of service before self.
"There is a lot of time, energy and effort involved, it's not just a
normal 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. work day; you're on call 24/7 and you're
responsible to answer the phone and take care of any life issues that
are going on with your Airman," stated Master Sgt. Wade Rigsby, 460th
Space Communications Squadron additional-duty first sergeant.
"You have to make sure you are willing to give more than yourself and
first sergeant duty takes it to a whole new aspect," Rigsby continued.
Additional-duty first sergeants may be forced to be fluid leaders, hard
workers and experts at time management, but the rewards they gain both
personally and professionally seem to be worth it, according to the
"It's been rewarding and frustrating all at once, but it has made me
grow more in the last few months then in the last five years," said
Ferguson. "I have learned about a whole different side of the Air
With Buckley having only five diamond-wearing shirts for 11 units,
additional-duty first sergeants remain essential to the mission.
"Additional-duty first sergeants are crucial because not every
organization and unit is authorized a diamond-wearing first sergeant,"
explained Chief Master Sgt. William Ward, 460th SW command chief. "They
play a vital and critical role in taking care of personnel issues and
the successful mission accomplishment. Without them, we would be in a
very difficult situation. Additional-duty first sergeants are critical
to what we do and they have my utmost respect."
No matter how amazing an additional-duty first sergeant is, eventually
the time will come when they step down so that others may take on the
responsibility, leaving their actions to speak for them.
"You're going to leave a legacy; it all depends on what kind of
impression you want to leave," Rigsby explained. "It's going to be good
or bad; it's up to you."