Leadership Ideas, Information and News

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

NCOs show up in mass for leadership breakfast

by Staff Sgt. Julius Delos Reyes
50th Space Wing Public Affairs

8/15/2013 - SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Schriever staff and technical sergeants flocked to the Satellite Dish Dining Facility Aug. 13 for the 50th Space Wing leadership and NCO breakfast.

The breakfast event was designed to facilitate discussion between wing leadership and NCOs about current Air Force and Schriever issues.

This is the first NCO breakfast meeting for Col. Bill Liquori, 50 SW commander, since assuming command of the wing and the largest turnout among Airmen's groups.

Col. Bill Rittershaus, 50 SW vice commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Lavon Coles, 50 SW command chief, also attended the event.

"Each of you should realize at this point that you are our frontline in the leadership trenches," Liquori said. "You are the first person the Airmen look up to for guidance, mentorship, support and resources. Without you, everything breaks down. We need you to learn your Airmen's stories."

Liquori encouraged the NCOs to set the standard and help their Airmen learn about the Air Force.

"The Airmen are looking up to you as they're coming out of basic training and beginning to learn more about what it is to be an Airman," Liquori said. "Set the example and put another generation of Airmen on the right path to success in their Air Force career."

Liquori opened the discussion by noting current issues facing the Air Force.

"People ask me what's the toughest thing since I've been here, it's the budget," Liquori said. "The budget situation is tight. We're making tradeoffs and sacrifices every day, and I certainly see that firsthand. What we are trying to do is make sure we are telling the wing's story to the chain at 14th Air Force and Air Force Space Command."

Liquori also asked the NCOs' help in eliminating sexual assault as it is one of the big topics in the Air Force today.

"I need each and every one of you to join us in kicking this to the curb," he said. "It's not acceptable; it is not professional; it violates trust; it violates dignity; and it violates respect. Nobody wants to work in an environment where that happens. It takes all of us to recognize that it is not OK to do it; it is not OK to condone it; and it is not OK to turn the other way."

As part of the meeting, NCOs also asked Liquori and Coles questions about promotion, mentorship and other personnel issues.

"I am trying to get to know you to see how I can help you grow personally and professionally," Coles said. "For the mentorship aspect, it is this environment (the breakfast with leadership) that we're going to get our big money; it's getting involved with the 5/6. We're given these stripes as noncommissioned officers for a reason: to get out and lead."

At the closing of the breakfast, Liquori thanked the NCOs for participating in the event and spending time with leadership.

"Thank you very much for coming out," Liquori said. "It's the best turnout we've had. It is a good opportunity for us to hear a little bit about what's going in the trenches. Thank you for all the questions."

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