AUGUST 17, 2016, SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. (AFNS) – Air Mobility Command welcomed 147 of the Air Force’s top NCOs and civilians to Phoenix Stripe, which focused on offering essential leadership tools to Airmen who have a direct impact on the AMC mission here Aug. 3-5.
One of the event mentors, Master Sgt. Yvonne Forsyth, the 375th Expeditionary Operations School superintendent, said Phoenix Stripe’s intent is to invest in the future by shaping young NCOs into capable and reliable leaders to take the Air Force to the next level.
“Staff sergeants, technical sergeants and their civilian counterparts are critical to the success of the mission,” said Chief Master Sgt. Shelina Frey, the AMC command chief.
Phoenix Stripe offers a platform where AMC’s leaders can share their personal experiences and mentor personnel who will become top leaders. Civilians and NCOs were shown different pathways that connect effective leadership to the overall AMC vision.
“We aren’t walking in the shadows of giants,” Frey said. “We are walking in the shadows of leaders who have gone there before us.”
Overall, 23 leaders and experts paid it forward by sharing their knowledge on topics ranging from decision-making, ethical leadership, and developing and inspiring others. Additionally, representatives from U.S. Transportation Command, AMC, and 18th Air Force provided mission briefs.
“Leadership is not about a title, and it’s not about a rank,” Frey said. “It’s about experience. It’s about a passion. It’s about understanding what we mean when we say ‘being a part of something that’s bigger than you.’”
In addition to the event speakers, AMC selected two NCO mentors and one civilian mentor who facilitated guided discussions during allocated mentor times. One of the NCO mentors, Master Sgt. Jeremy D. Wiley, witnessed how much Airmen have to offer.
“I am amazed at the critical thinking that our young NCOs are doing,” Wiley said. “We as an Air Force are well prepared for the future with these fine young leaders on their way up. Being able to assist these young leaders in any way is what being a senior NCO is all about and is a huge part of ensuring we prepare them for increased responsibilities.”
The participants, who went through a selection process for Phoenix Stripe, took the messages offered to heart.
“What I really got out of this was how much AMC’s impact is for the worldwide operations,” said Staff Sgt. Kyle James Love, who works for the 19th Aerospace Medicine Squadron and traveled from Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, for the opportunity.
“A lot of the time in our day-to-day lives we forget what our impact is,” Love said. “We are there to do a task, but those tasks that we’re accomplishing affect our operations worldwide.”
For others, Phoenix Stripe offered an opportunity to take part in a networking process of like-minded people.
“Let’s face it: it’s a small Air Force,” said Staff Sgt. Steven Patrick Howard, who’s assigned to the 89th Aerial Port Squadron at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland.
To Howard, an event like this is crucial to his development as an NCO. As he said, in order to become a better leader, “you must surround yourself with better leaders.”