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First Sergeant symposium paves the way for new leaders

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Aaron Edwards
  • 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The 51st Fighter Wing First Sergeant’s Council hosted the spring 2023 First Sergeant’s Symposium at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, April 17 through 21, 2023.


The week-long course offered enlisted members, E-6 and above, along with some officers, an opportunity to learn about the duties and responsibilities of a first sgt.


“One of the most unique aspects of [first sgt.] duty is you can test drive the car before you sign for it,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Sean Kent, 621st Air Control Squadron and 607th Air and Space Operations Center first sgt. “Whether you intend to be an additional duty [first sgt.] or not, [the symposium] is just great information to be a better supervisor and a better leader.”


The responsibility of a first sgt. cannot always rest upon the shoulders of just one person alone. They play a crucial role in ensuring the health, morale, welfare, and quality of life of Airmen and their families to guarantee unit readiness and mission success. First sgts. often enlist the help of volunteers, known as additional duty first sgts., to take on the role when they cannot, such as in personal emergencies or when on leave.   


“This course is a requirement to volunteer in that capacity,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. David Cameron, 36th Fighter generation squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon crew chief. “I got to witness a prior supervisor of mine be an [additional duty first sgt.]. I saw the joy it brought him and I wanted to experience that myself.”  


Being a first sgt. or an additional duty first sgt. is a great way to gain experience outside of one’s career field and give back to the military community.