How’s your shirt?

DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --

The first sergeant! The position may effect different feelings in unit personnel. Hopefully, for most, the feeling is one of trust, respect and appreciation. For others it may instill a feeling of uncertainty, intimidation, or, sadly, fear. Hopefully the latter only happens when it is fitting of a situation.

The first sergeant’s authority is derived from the commander, making him or her a very busy person who wears a lot of different “hats.” Think about it…your “shirt” is always on call, is a part-time psychologist, sociologist, disciplinarian, mentor and teacher. A good shirt is always out in the unit checking on its members, is firm but fair, accessible and approachable, and remembers where they came from. A good first sergeant knows that the most valuable resource the Air Force has is people, and “people” includes our families.

Master Sgt. Scott McDaniel is the first sergeant for the 7th Bomb Wing Staff Agencies and 7th Comptroller Squadron, and is among the best shirts I’ve had the pleasure of working with in my 30+ years of service to our country. He’s the only shirt I’ve had that regularly stops into our offices checking in and asking if there is anything he can do for us or if there’s anything we need. He also has a special and unique way of being the disciplinarian without berating, belittling or tearing down a member who is facing adverse actions. To see him treat them with respect, kindness and courtesy throughout the process is refreshing to witness. He’s a true example of what a first sergeant, senior non-commissioned officer, and Wingman should be.

I’m intrigued to know, do you ask how YOUR Shirt is doing? How he or she is feeling? If there is anything you can do for them? Our Shirts take care of us, but do we do what we can for them?

John C. Maxwell’s emotive quote eloquently harmonizes the definition of a successful first sergeant when he said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

So, Team Dyess, how’s your shirt?