JBA holds 1st Sergeant Symposium

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class J.D. Maidens
  • 11th Wing Public Affairs
Joint Base Andrews is holding an Additional Duty First Sergeant Symposium at the Smart Building, April 6-9, 2015.

The symposium aims to train and inspire those with first sergeant responsibilities.

"The focus is to empower our leaders, technical sergeant and above, to be better first sergeants and better leaders," said Chief Master Sgt. Henry Hayes, Air Force District of Washington first sergeant.

The symposium covers a variety of subjects from financial responsibilities to sexual assault to mental health, with guest speakers including Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody.

"It's important for us at the tactical level to hear Chief Cody's knowledge of the strategic level," said Senior Master Sgt. Gary Silva, 11th Security Forces Squadron first sergeant. "We read his emails and watch his videos, and it's always inspiring to see him speak in person."

First sergeants can play an important role in the morale and welfare of Airmen.

"The impact goes from airman basic to general officers, first sergeants contribute to everyone," Silva said. "That's why we have these symposiums; we want those who fill this role to be the best they can be."

Silva has found these duties to be rewarding.

"I absolutely love the job," Silva said. "I've wanted to be a first shirt since I was an airman basic in 1986. I feel like I can contribute, it may sound selfish, but I love that. I have no bad days."

In the time he has been assigned as a first sergeant, Silva has found valuable advice he is eager to pass on.

"Value everyone, because everyone has a desire to contribute and succeed," Silva said. "Successful people create positive work environments and winning teams."