Combat Readiness Training Center, Gulfport--
A forum was held in Gulfport that stressed the importance of senior enlisted officers sharing their wisdom with newer Mississippi National Guardsmen to ensure future generations are prepared for leadership roles.
The Mississippi Air National Guard Chief’s Forum brought nearly 40 chief master sergeants to the Gulfport CRTC-Battlefield Airmen Center. Over two days, chiefs from different parts of the state discussed common issues and heard from various speakers including Brig. Gen. Mike Nabors, assistant adjutant general Air. Nabors spoke to the group about priorities of the Mississippi National Guard and also took questions from the audience. He commended the chiefs for embracing their duty to help guide Airmen.
“I’m impressed every day with the way you interact with your Airmen, and the way you take a leadership role,” said Nabors. “I’m big on the mentoring of our Airmen. I’m big on giving our Airmen someone to talk to. It needs to be someone who can build a lasting, trusting relationship with them that will last over their career.”
Leaders say when young Airmen enter the military they are not always initially certain of their long term goals. Sound advice from experienced noncommissioned enlisted officers can help Airmen make the decision that’s right for them.
“This is vitally important,” said Chief Master Sgt. Robert Knight, state command chief. Chiefs need to be sitting down with and finding time with Airmen to see what their mindset is. Do they see this as a long term career or just as a way to pay for college?”
“For the stability of the Mississippi National Guard, we’ve got to have the right leaders in place. Without mentorship there is no stability,” Knight said.
The chiefs said the forum gives the opportunity to get acquainted with peers of different mission sets prior to possibly having to work together during a military mission. There are approximately 52 chief master sergeants in the Mississippi Air National Guard.