AFDW Conference helps First Sergeants speak with one voice

  • Published
  • Air Force District of Washington Public Affairs
It’s the job of an Air Force first sergeant to provide his or her commander with Airmen that are ready to support the mission. First sergeants from different organizations often work together to achieve this goal. The first ever Air Force District of Washington First Sergeant Conference help Airmen “speak with one voice.”

The conference was developed by AFDW First Sergeant Chief Master Sgt. Manny Pineiro and held at the Bolling Club. Pineiro hopes to bridge the lack of communication between AFDW first sergeants and provide an opportunity to better address the needs of the Airman.

“The intent is to gather all first sergeants and command chiefs that make up AFDW proper and discuss their mission and address concerns that are affecting Airmen in their community,” said Pineiro. “Also, this is also a prelude to our First Sergeant Leadership Conference next month, co-located with the AFSA Professional Airman's Conference in San Antonio.”

Enlisted leadership and first sergeants from across the National Capital Region attended the event. Master Sgt. Kirtis Fisher, who is the 70th Operations Support Squadron first sergeant located on Ft. George G. Meade, thought the conference provided great insight.

“The AFDW's First Sgt. Conference was an outstanding opportunity to learn about our fellow units in the NCR,” said Fisher. “It was a great experience to not only learn their missions but meet and get to know our brother and sister first sergeants and some of our senior enlisted leaders.”

The conference also served as an opportunity for our Air Force District of Washington Command Chief Tommy Mazzone to spend some time with the AFDW enlisted leaders and provide perspective on the importance of the command team triad - the first sergeant, the superintendent, and the commander.

"I'm a member of my commander's support staff, and that's the way I look at things. I have no agenda other than my commander's agenda, which are his priorities for our Airmen to achieve mission success,” Mazzone said. "It's important that we remember that the diamonds and the stars in our chevrons are insignias of a duty position. They should not absolve us of our responsibilities as senior NCOs. That's what we should be first, and that means bringing up other Airmen behind us and other SNCOs to take over our positions."

After a full day consisting of five briefs and three forums, the AFDW attendees gained the shared understanding of their individual missions. Air Force District of Washington Vice Commander Col. Chris Patterson’s closing remarks summarized the purpose of the conference.

"While there are many diverse AF missions across the NCR, the support to our Airmen needs to be consistent,” Patterson said. “This conference gave our First Sergeants the chance to interact with each other, compare notes and establish lines of communication."