Leadership Ideas, Information and News

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Not a diamond, but just as sharp

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 workers."

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 shirts.

"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 Force."

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."

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