TIME is on your side

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Angela Stebbins
  • 157th Medical Group

Nine technical sergeants from the New Hampshire Air National Guard recently attended a week-long conference focused on improving and broadening their leadership and mentoring skills at a convention center here. It was the third year that the Technical Sergeants Involved and Mentoring Enlisted Airmen (TIME) was held. 

Tech. Sgt. Henry Burch of the 157th Logistics Readiness Squadron attended the conference and was pleased to meet with military and civilian leaders.

"They provided us some of the most important techniques and tools to become better with who we work with, and what we do," said Burch. "I absolutely felt this was one of the best military conferences I've been to."

The program was created by Chief Master Sgt. Richard G. MacDonald, Massachusetts ANG state command chief, to inspire and educate the next level of non-commissioned officers (NCO). The goal is to promote mentorship, build strength in the enlisted force, understand and work with the vast diversity of other enlisted members, and to help create and foster an atmosphere for growth in force development.

The Airmen listened to success stories and career advice from top enlisted ANG leaders and others during the workshop.

Some of the distinguished guests included Maj. Gen. L. Scott Rice, the adjutant general Massachusetts National Guard; Maj. Gen. Gary W. Keefe, Massachusetts Joint Forces Headquarters ANG chief of staff; Brig. Gen. Robert T. Brooks, Jr., Massachusetts assistant adjutant general; Chief Master Sgt. James W. Hotaling, command chief master sergeant of the ANG; Chief Master Sgt. Daniel T. Mitchell Jr., the ANG First Sergeant functional area manager, National Guard Bureau (NGB); and Chief Master Sgt. Rick MacDonald, Massachusetts state command chief.

"Many speakers were inspirational for me, but (Mitchell) and (Hotaling) certainly made the biggest impression," said Tech. Sgt. Brike Hall of the 157 Communications Flight. "Their specific application of theory to the job of an Airman and NCO showed unquestionable purpose to what we each could and should offer to our base, office and ourselves."

Another speaker that resonated with participants was retired U.S. Army Brigadier Gen. Rhonda Cornum. The former assistant surgeon general for force projection told participants about her survival as a prisoner of war after her Blackhawk helicopter was shot down in enemy territory.

Sgt. Ken Weichert from the Tennessee Army National Guard Suicide Prevention Task Force spoke about turning stress into strength and obstacles into opportunities through physical and emotional resiliency and self-discipline. 

"Weichert was the speaker that resonated with me the most," said Burch. "Hearing his story of how he was hurt during his military career and how he still thrived to come back successfully.

"It made me think of resiliency. He bounced back no matter how many obstacles he faced, and is still to this day continuing the mission." 

Some of the other topics addressed by speakers included generational differences in work and management styles, emotional wellness in the workplace, transformational leadership and engagement, and how to discover the unrealized potential in people and organizations.

"The speeches were valuable and the talks were well thought out," said Tech Sgt. Corey Scheckler of the 157 Force Support Squadron "It's always great to hear from those that have moved up to senior leadership in the Air Force, but also our civilian leaders that help us become better Airman."