First Sergeant Symposium expands understanding

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Keith Holcomb
  • 14th Flying training Wing Public Affairs

Columbus Air Force Base’s Additional First Sergeant Symposium was held at the 14th Flying Training Wing’s education center for five sergeants ranking from E-6 to E-7.

The goal of the symposium was to educate and inform technical sergeants and master sergeants new leadership tactics and goals as well as the duties a first shirt holds.

To maintain social distancing and continue the mission of cultivating Airmen, the symposium was held in a large classroom setting with six foot spacing according to Center for Disease Control guidelines.

“So this symposium qualifies me to be an undershirt,” explained Tech. Sgt. Nazareth Oliver, 14th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron Aerospace and Operational Physiology Flight technician. “It allows us to hold the phone for the weekend and help the First Sergeant out while gaining valuable experience.”

Much of the symposium was discussion and participation based blocks in which students learned from first shirts across Columbus AFB, Miss.

“Before this symposium I had absolutely no idea of what a First Sergeant does,” Oliver said. “This class opened my mind and gave me a real appreciation to what First Sergeants do.”

All of the curriculum is given to the Columbus AFB First Sergeants running the program by the Air Force First Sergeant Academy. Master Sgt. Beverly Freeman, 14th Mission Support Group First Sergeant, said the symposium provides the tool-kit sergeants need to carry the first shirt phone and builds on every NCOs capabilities in their field.

“What we try to teach in this symposium is communication and where experts who may be able to help their Airmen are located on base,” Freeman said. “This symposium is important because we covered specifically firsthand information for pertaining to Columbus AFB. We go into great depth regarding situations that may come up and who to go to in order to get that Airman what they need.”