By Senior Airman Jonathan McElderry, Minot Air Force Base Public Affairs
/ Published May 29, 2018
Members of the First Sergeant’s Council pose for a photo at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, April 24, 2018. The First Sergeant’s Council is a professional organization that‘s focused on supporting Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jonathan McElderry)
The First Sergeant’s Council plays an integral role in servicing thousands of Airmen and families and ensuring people at Minot Air Force Base are always taken care of.
It’s a professional organization whose main focus is on supporting Airmen.
“Our primary responsibility is taking care of Airmen through health, morale, welfare and discipline, which ultimately has a positive effect on mission readiness,” said Senior Master Sgt. Wayne Sharp, 5th Maintenance Squadron first sergeant.
While fulfilling their responsibilities, first sergeants (shirts) provide Team Minot with various outlets that have a positive impact on Airmen.
“We’re a great medium for resources,” said Master Sgt. Kevin Feeney, 5th Force Support Squadron first sergeant. “We support emergency time of need with family members and assist with Officer Training School packages, enlisted performance reports, decorations, reenlistments and debt. From a personnel standpoint, there’s no area that we don’t come in contact with.”
Feeney also noted how instead of being seen as representing discipline, they’re more synonymous with reduction of punishment and are dedicated to helping Airmen.
“A lot of people get wrapped up in the discipline aspect of our job, but there’s so much more than that,” Feeney said. “For instance, we advertise professional development courses and quarterly birthday meals for Airmen at the Dakota Inn dining facility and work with Airmen who are having housing issues.”
Feeney added that if an Airman runs into an obstacle, the council doesn’t hesitate to help solve the problem. These include issues with dorms, finances and overall stress management.
“We’re the roadblock destroyers,” Feeney said. “If someone is running into roadblocks at work, we have the bulldozer to get through any obstacle in order to help them.”
Not only does the council provide various resources, but they also host events for Team Minot.
“One of the main programs we support is Operation Warmheart, an annual Air Force program that’s used to financially aid Airmen in need by providing emergency travel and donating goods, food and gift cards,” Sharp said. “We also have Operation Angel Tree where we help donate Christmas toys to families in need.”
Sharp mentioned how the shirts are willing to assist Airmen at any time.
“We’re always approachable and here to help no matter what,” Sharp said. “If there’s an issue an Airman feel needs to be addressed by their first sergeant, we’re okay with them coming to us. It’s not hard to reach us by any means; we’re always a phone call away.”