By Airman 1st Class Sophia Weidner, 184th Public Affairs
The 184th Wing enlisted councils hosted an all call at McConnell Air Force Base on Jan. 5 to emphasize the importance of mentorship and interpersonal relationships.
The three enlisted councils include the Airman’s Council, Noncommissioned Officer’s Council, and Top 3 Council. Enlisted councils provide a networking outlet and professional development opportunities that coincide with the levels of rank and experience.
Chief Master Sgt. Randi Hill, command chief, 184th Wing, facilitated the discussion.
“From a wing commander down to an Airman, we all need mentors,” said Hill.
Hill described supervision as a trainee/trainer relationship that is hierarchal in nature. She said supervisors are people who care for subordinates, but whose main goal is to create a mission-ready team.
Her definition of mentors was slightly different.
“A mentor is usually someone who is unbiased, and they have done something that you want to be able to do,” said Hill. “It could be someone who has achieved a certain military rank. It could be someone who has a personal trainer type of image. It could be a religious leader who might help you strengthen your faith, and it could be a coach that makes you better at sports.”
Senior Master Sgt. Anisa Shinkle, president, Top 3 Council, helped lead the all call.
“Our main goal was to get people to connect and communicate across organizations,” said Shinkle. “A secondary goal was to create an opportunity to spark mentor/mentee relationships through small group discussion.”
Enlisted members were divided into small groups of 10 people, facilitated by senior enlisted leaders. Subjects for group discussion were provided by members, and topics ranged from Space Force to annual training.
Shinkle said that it was the largest turnout seen in the past two years.
“We were not prepared for that many people,” said Shinkle. “We had to [be flexible], which caused a few hiccups and we thank everyone for bearing with us on that.”
The all call was the first meeting of the year for all of the councils. For Shinkle and other leaders, it gave insight into what lies ahead for 2020. “We have received positive feedback and some areas to improve on,” said Shinkle. “We will continue to push the councils to meet the needs of our enlisted force, but we need to carry on the participation and communication to achieve that.”