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First Sergeant Symposium

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Trevor James, 14th Flying Training Wing command chief, talks to attendees at the First Sergeant symposium, Apr. 29, 2021, on Columbus Air Force Base, Miss. According to AFI36-2113, First sergeants are a dedicated focal point for all readiness, health, morale, welfare and quality of life issues within their organizations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jessica Haynie)

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Trevor James, 14th Flying Training Wing command chief, talks to attendees at the First Sergeant symposium, Apr. 29, 2021, on Columbus Air Force Base, Miss. According to AFI36-2113, First sergeants are a dedicated focal point for all readiness, health, morale, welfare and quality of life issues within their organizations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jessica Haynie)

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Trevor James, 14th Flying Training Wing command chief, laughs with attendees at a First Sergeant symposium as he shares his experiences from his time as an additional duty First Sergeant, Apr. 29, 2021, on Columbus Air Force Base, Miss. According to AFI36-2113, the first sergeant primarily supports the mission through interaction, support and management of all unit-assigned personnel and their families.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jessica Haynie)

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Trevor James, 14th Flying Training Wing command chief, laughs with attendees at a First Sergeant symposium as he shares his experiences from his time as an additional duty First Sergeant, Apr. 29, 2021, on Columbus Air Force Base, Miss. According to AFI36-2113, the first sergeant primarily supports the mission through interaction, support and management of all unit-assigned personnel and their families. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jessica Haynie)

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Trevor James, 14th Flying Training Wing command chief, explains to attendees interested in becoming First Sergeants the importance and weight the title holds, Apr. 29, 2021, on Columbus Air Force Base, Miss. According to AFI36-2113, First sergeants respond to the needs of unit members 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and may at times be required to work long and irregular hours, as well as travel extensively to and from mission destinations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jessica Haynie)

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Trevor James, 14th Flying Training Wing command chief, explains to attendees interested in becoming First Sergeants the importance and weight the title holds, Apr. 29, 2021, on Columbus Air Force Base, Miss. According to AFI36-2113, First sergeants respond to the needs of unit members 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and may at times be required to work long and irregular hours, as well as travel extensively to and from mission destinations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jessica Haynie)

COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --

The First Sergeants of Columbus Air Force Base, held a First Sergeant Symposium to provide insight to a select group of Non-commissioned officers on the role of the First Sergeant duty position, Apr. 26-29, 2021, on Columbus Air Force Base, Miss.

“The goal from the symposium is to better prepare Tech. Sergeants and Master Sergeants on how to respond with appropriate resources when helping Airmen and how to be better equipped when advising the Commander,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Kelly Barczykowski, 14th Security Forces Squadron First Sergeant.

Throughout the week, attendees participated in scenarios to learn how to utilize and employ resources dealing with topics such as, domestic violence, Maintenance of Discipline, and Counseling and Confrontation.

“It is a very rewarding job being an additional duty First Sergeant,” said Barczykowski. “The opportunity to help people and their families, whether it is personal or professional, is very rewarding.”

The First Sergeant symposium included an Airman Panel that was used as a tool as a communication link between Airmen and First Sergeants. Airmen in attendance relayed what the junior enlisted needs and expects from their unit First Sergeants.

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Trevor James, 14th Flying Training Wing command chief, shared his experience and advice from his time as a First Sergeant.

“It is an interesting dynamic between the Superintendent and the First Sergeant,” said James. “Both of you need to have your voice and you both need to be heard. Your voice counts.”

According to AFI36-2113, the professional relationship between a first sergeant and commander is often unique and very close. The first sergeant serves as a key advisor to the commander on matters relating to health, morale, welfare, safety, legal, personnel, administrative issues and a variety of other items that affect the unit.

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