by Airman 1st Class Luke Hill
2nd Bomb WIng Public Affairs
6/2/2015 - BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- Air
Force Global Strike Command held its annual Striker Stripe leadership
development conference at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, May
During the conference, some of the best and brightest technical and
staff sergeants from across AFGSC had the opportunity to develop
personal leadership skills and hear from some of the military's top
leaders like Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody, AFGSC
vice commander Maj. Gen. Michael Fortney, and Command Sgt. Maj. Patrick
Alston, senior enlisted leader for United States Strategic Command.
"This conference gives us the big picture of the military," said Tech
Sgt. Vernon Russell, 5th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, Minot
Air Force Base, North Dakota. "The conference has shown me how all the
pieces fit together in our armed forces and how everyone's job is
A major theme throughout the conference was the need to voice things
which need to be heard and to play an active role in making the military
"Don't stand on the sidelines, get in the game and make your voices
heard," Alston said. "Every time you walk by a disciplinary issue or an
injustice, you have just established a new standard. Be the example
every day. When you open your mouth, have something profound come out.
When you're having a bad day, pretend you're having a good day. When
you're by yourself without supervision, do what's right and set the
Senior leadership stressed the value of communication between NCOs and their Airmen.
"We can change the military, not with more money, technology or
education, but by getting involved with service members on a more
personal level," Alston said.
Russell plans on improving his leadership skills by getting more involved with his Airmen at Minot.
"I have learned that everybody is different and I have to approach
everybody differently. I need to lead them in the way that is effective
for them, not necessarily what is effective for me," Russell said.
In addition, senior leadership touched on how important integrity and
trust is to all service members, no matter what their rank is.
"Trust is the foundation for whether we do what is ordered of us or
not," Cody said. "We have to believe in our leadership and what we are
doing is right and important. Always remember when you go home and take
off your uniform, and you go to your normal places, do not forget that
you're still an Airman. You're a United States Airman until the last day
you put on that uniform, and you represent every single one of us."
While Striker Stripe is a useful and unique opportunity for NCOs to
learn new leadership skills and ways to accomplish the mission more
effectively, the principles and values presented at the conference are
things that would benefit all AFGSC Airmen.
Fortney summed up what is expected of all Airmen that are part of AFGSC:
"Don't take no and don't let the status quo slow you down."