Leadership Ideas, Information and News

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Developing leaders at Striker Stripe

by Airman 1st Class Joseph Raatz
Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs

5/22/2014 - BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- A leadership conference geared toward developing some of Air Force Global Strike Command's most promising young noncommissioned officers concluded here May 15.

The annual five-day conference, known as Striker Stripe, gathers a select few of AFGSC's highly capable Staff Sergeants and Technical Sergeants from across the command to meet with senior leaders and to engage both with experienced professionals and with each other.

"The camaraderie between the best and brightest in AFGSC was one of my favorite things about the conference," said Staff Sgt. Brendan Brustad, noncommissioned-officer-in-charge of customer service and acquisitions for the 509th Medical Support Squadron at Whiteman AFB, Missouri. "Every evening a group of us got together and shared our experiences and advice. It was a great networking opportunity"

Over the course of five days, the 46 NCOs attended seminars led by speakers including Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James Cody, Command Sgt. Maj. Patrick Alston, senior enlisted leader for U.S. Strategic Command and Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Winzenried, senior enlisted leader for North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command. These seminars covered subjects such as fiscal responsibility, education, suicide and sexual assault prevention and response, state of the command, social media techniques, leadership perspectives and professional development.

"I'm excited for you, because I think there are a lot of great opportunities ahead of you in your careers," Cody said. "It was a turbulent 2013, it is a turbulent 2014, it's going to be a turbulent 2015 and 2016; there's going to be some turbulence out there. But within that turbulence is a great opportunity for you to shape our Air Force. When we talk about innovation, that innovation is going to come from men and women just like you."

Conferences like Striker Stripe are designed to give Airmen tools that make them more efficient, which they then take back to their unit. This potentially benefits a much larger audience than those few who personally attended the conference.

"I'll be taking back the knowledge of the new EPR and Airmen feedback form," said Staff Sgt. Nickie Watson, a missile alert facility manager with the 490th Missile Squadron at Malmstrom AFB, Montana. "I'm excited to be able to let all of my NCO colleagues that I work with know about them and what to expect come January 1, 2015."

Attendee response to Striker Stripe has been overwhelmingly positive, and the command plans to continue program for the foreseeable future.

"It was beyond my expectations to meet many great leaders such as Chief Cody, the Chief Master Sergeant of The Air Force," Watson said. "I learned a lot of stuff about Air Force Global Strike Command which I didn't know that I will be telling everybody who I come in contact with at Malmstrom."

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