Creech First Sergeants improve readiness, take care of Hunter family

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Adarius Petty
  • 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
They can be seen all around the base, in every squadron, group and wing. Distinguished from their peers by the diamonds adorned on their sleeves, they serve as the enlisted focal point to the commander in Air Force units.

The first sergeants at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, make it their priority to take care of the men and women of the 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing Hunters and their families, whether it's financially, emotionally, or professionally.

First sergeants across the Air Force provide the commander with a mission-ready enlisted force to execute the unit's mission. They remain vigilant and move to resolve issues, that left unchecked adversely impact the readiness of enlisted members.
At Creech, providing care for Airmen conducting the Air Force's remotely piloted aircraft capability is no different.

"I've wanted to be a first sergeant since I was an airman 1st class," said Master Sgt. Bryan, 15th Reconnaissance Squadron first sergeant. "I came to Vegas on my first temporary deployment assignment and spent three months pay in one week. I didn't do anything illegal; I just had a really good time. When I went back to Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, where I was stationed at the time, I went to tell my first shirt that I got myself in some financial trouble."

Bryan continued to say his first sergeant sternly mentored him on financial responsibilities but afterward she showed him all the agencies on base that could help him get back to where he needed to be.

"My first sergeant chewed me out," explained Bryan, who admitted with the help of his shirt he was able to get back on track in three months instead of nine like he originally planned.

Despite his rough beginning, Bryan has since pushed forward to become the 432nd Wing's 2015 First Sergeant of the year.

In addition, first sergeants prepare enlisted personnel of the organization to deploy in support of mission requirements. It was during one such occasion that a Creech first sergeant realized taking care of people is sometimes more important than the mission at hand.

"While deployed to Kuwait, I was able to allow a member to attend his father's funeral in Africa," said Master Sgt. Jose, 18th Reconnaissance Squadron first sergeant. "The member wasn't going to tell anyone about his loss and after noticing he was down I was able to find out his father had passed.  I was able to generate emergency leave and procured airline tickets at no cost to the member, giving him ample time to attend his father's services."

Airmen may think shirts are only there to discipline them and pry into their personal business. Many Airmen also think that all first sergeants are alike.

"People assume that all shirts are the same," said Jose.  "This is a huge misconception; our Creech First Sergeant Council is filled with a diverse group of individuals that range from the most extreme introverts to the most outspoken extroverts. If you can't find the connection with your first sergeant, find one you can connect with."

Just like everyone learns differently, first shirts care for Airmen differently, while some may be more approachable than others, all have the same mindset of taking care of the Hunter family and improving readiness that continues to provide the world with RPA intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability 24/7, and 365 days a year.

"The best part of my job is getting involved in Airmen's lives. It's when they come in that office and open up and lay it all on the table and say this is what I have going on and just being a life coach in a sense helping them out in rough times. It's so rewarding helping them help themselves," said Bryan.