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First Sergeant Council Meets

Members of the 118th Wing First Sergeants Council meet during March drill at Berry Field Air National Guard Base in Nashville, Tenn., March 4, 2017. The council meets once a month to disseminate information, identify trends, and serve as a focal point for the base Command Chief Master Sergeant. (USANG photo by Tech. Sgt. Darrell Hamm)

Members of the 118th Wing First Sergeants Council meet at Berry Field Air National Guard Base in Nashville, Tenn., March 4, 2017. The council meets once a month to disseminate information, identify trends, and serve as a focal point for the base Command Chief Master Sergeant. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Darrell Hamm/released)


The 118th Wing First Sergeant Council convened at Berry Field on March 4, 2017. The council is made up of all diamond wearing first sergeants around the wing as well as individuals that have been tasked to assist a first sergeant within the larger squadrons. Currently, there are 11 sitting first sergeants and seven additional duty sergeants on the council. The main purpose of the council is to be a forum for continuity between squadrons and a tool for the Command Chief Master Sergeant for communicating information.

"It is easier if we are meeting with each other to make sure the proper information gets disseminated," said Master Sgt. Michael Varley, president of the council. "When we come to that table we are able to talk, and someone might say hey that's happening in my unit too, so now we can identify trends. We are also a focal point for the command chief."

Varley sees the council being a tool for the commander to take our wing to the next level.

"Gone are the days where the first sergeant is seen as just a figure head within the unit," said Varley. "Now the first sergeants are truly being utilized by the commander and the chief.  You have that triad of accountability for the unit, and individuals know who they can turn to. The total force concept is the future."

It is Varley's goal for the council to make sure that it maintains the growth that was implemented by his predecessors.

"They took a stance to make it better than it was and make it more effective than it is," said Varley. "We have a great foundation. I just want to make sure it keeps moving forward. We also want to become more visible. We want to get more into the community."

Moving forward Varley wants to make sure that Airmen know the council is there for them.

"I want them to know to reach out to their first sergeant," said Varley. "Just because we drill one weekend a month does not mean we are not available the other 28 days. Utilize us.  If your [first sergeant] isn't there reach out to another one. A diamond is a diamond. We are all trained the same way. We know how to help."

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