AFA Airman’s Corner

The Air Force Association, in partnership with Air Force District of Washington, hosted a free professional development event for more than 100 enlisted Airmen at Joint Base Andrews. The day was broken up into two sessions, one focusing on Senior NCOs and the other on NCOs. Each session featured Command CMSgt Jack Johnson Jr., Command Senior Enlisted Leader, Supreme Allied Command Transformation, NATO where he discussed the importance of diversity and international relationships. Among this discussion, he stressed the importance of teaching Airmen how to think, not what to think.

If we want the brainpower to succeed tomorrow, we need to empower Airmen to seed out educational opportunities.
— Command Chief Master Sergeant Johnson

Motivational speaker Hadyn Shaw was also on the list of speakers. He discussed the best practices when dealing with generational divides in the workplace. He stressed the importance of keeping those differences in mind with communication. Additionally, he discussed the different viewpoints and approaches people take when changes occur. Hadyn expressed how each person deals with adapting to situations differently, and once you figure out their style, you can focus on the positivity and use it to the benefit of the change.

Each session included a panel that was composed of leadership levels based on the audience. During the Senior NCO session, a panel of three lieutenant colonels answered questions and discussed leadership styles. They impressed the importance of networking. The squadron commanders shared how imperative it is to foster and sustain relationships in order to have a success with your people. The session for NCOs included a panel of Senior NCOs. The three panelists focused on compassion to your people and that by getting to know who you are leading, will result in your people following your example. Additionally, they shared that pride and ownership can increase work ethic and productivity. One panelist stated, “Once someone sat down and told me how my job played a role in the USAF mission, it made me work harder and feel valued.”

The Airmen’s Corner event concluded with a session featuring Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James A. Cody. He made remarks at the beginning regarding leadership and the necessity of participation and taking action. Many Airmen asked questions about Air Force trending topics, to which CMSAF Cody replied with motivating and informative answers. He expressed that when faced with issues and challenges, it is important to use your voice and try to initiate change. He shared that there will be times when you cannot impact an issue, so this is where professional behavior is needed to tactfully navigate through challenges.