Preparing Airmen for Leadership Success: Minot AFB Hosts First Sergeant Symposium

Written by: Airman 1st Class Luis Gomez, 5th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Members of Team Minot attending the First Sergeant Symposium pose for a group photo at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, Feb. 22, 2024. During the event guest speakers delved into various topics crucial for effective leadership such as emphasizing the importance of emotional intelligence, counseling techniques, and addressing tough issues. U.S. Air Force photos I Airman 1st Class Luis Gomez

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. —
A First Sergeant Symposium was held at Minot AFB from Feb. 21-23. The symposium served as a platform for Non-Commissioned Officers and Senior Non-Commissioned Officers to acquire essential tools and resources necessary to step into the role of a first sergeant when called upon.


U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Sarah Bordges, 5th Security Forces Squadron first sergeant, helped coordinate the event. She highlighted the symposium’s role in preparing aspiring first sergeants for the transition into leadership roles.


“It’s getting tech sergeants and master sergeants prepared for if they want to put on the diamond,” said Bordges. “We’re changing their thinking from being a standard supervisor or section chief, to having that first sergeant mindset.”
During the event, guest speakers delved into various topics crucial for effective leadership, while focusing on the importance of emotional intelligence and counseling techniques.


Bordges emphasized the symposium’s practical approach, which allowed attendees to apply their newfound knowledge and tools to devise effective solutions.


“One of the things that we do in class are counseling sessions,” said Bordges. “We’ll have a real-world situation that we bring up on the screen. The participants have to go through everything that they’ve learned through the class and figure out what’s the best course of action.”


Through interactive panels and discussions, attendees explored a myriad of topics ranging from the intricacies of handling authorized and unauthorized absences, to open Q&A sessions with chaplains, commanders, and experienced first sergeants. This helps provide valuable insights and perspectives needed when stepping into the role of a first sergeant.
“Regardless if you are a first sergeant wearing a diamond or not,” said Bordges. “This is all information that every supervisor should know.”


The First Sergeant Symposium serves as a testament to Team Minot’s commitment to fostering strong leadership and readiness among its ranks and the Airmen who are ready to maintain that commitment.

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