Cheyenne, Wyoming --
153rd Airlift Wing Command Chief Master Sgt. Michael D. Abbott spoke to about 20 enlisted members of the Rising 6 organization on the topic of managing a successful career in the Air National Guard on Mar. 7. Rising 6 members consist of Airman in the ranks of Airman Basic to Tech. Sgt. who inform leaders of issues which impact involving Airmen and noncommissioned officers.
The chief informed the group on wing happenings, answered questions about rumors and funding, but primarily spoke on how remembering a couple key items can create a successful enlisted military career.
"When you climb a mountain, do you go straight up?" asked Abbott. "No. You deal with twists and turns. That's how life is and that's how you'll reach the peak of your military career."
Abbott broke down his keys to success using the easy-to-remember acronym PEAK. "P" stands for performance. One must successfully perform the job requirements to move up the chain of command. The second letter, "E" stands for empowerment. Your leadership must give you the ability to just, "Go!" and do what needs to be done. The letter "A" stands for accountability. "Discipline comes to mind. It's about holding yourself and others responsible and to a certain standard." And finally, "K" stands for knowledge. Without going to school and getting the training, and without learning your skillset, you can't do your job.
Along with PEAK, Abbott explained the importance of knowing and understanding two books -- Air Force Instruction 1-1, or, "The Little Blue Book," which provides basic Air Force rules and regulations, as well as AFI 36-2618 also known as, "The Little Brown Book," which provides important expectations and standards for enlisted airmen.
"All you need to know to be effective in your career is inside these books. Follow them and you'll be effective."
In his experience, Abbott said every disciplinary action he's seen has come from a loss of focus and standards mentioned in these books. Some of those issues he dealt with personally as a young NCO.
"I remember being passed over for an AGR slot here on base when I was a staff sergeant," said Abbott. "I was upset and when I told my wife that I didn't get the job, she said she wasn't surprised! When I asked my coworkers, they said the same thing. I was horrible to work with."
"That's when I realized that I was arrogant and needed to change. I had lost track. I had to humble myself and changed both internally and externally."
"We sometimes lose perspective and as a staff sergeant, I had lost perspective."
An important step in improving himself was gaining mentors and beginning to mentor others.
"Mentors and support helps us stay focused or refocus when necessary. If we don't mentor, we've failed our airmen and NCOs."
Abbott wrapped things up by explaining the crucial role the Rising 6 plays in making things happen on base.
"This organization is very important to our guard wing. I have no doubt some of the best ideas can come from this room. And we're going to get better as a result."
Are you an Airman in the rank of E-1 through E-6 and are you interested in joining the Rising 6 organization? If so, contact Staff Sgt. Elizabeth Tolin or Staff Sgt. Jean Lane.
Do you want a copy of "The Little Blue Book" or "The Little Brown Book"? Both can be found online:
AFI 1-1, "The Little Blue Book" - http://www.e-publishing.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-070906-003.pdf
AFI 36-2618 "The Little Brown Book" - http://static.e-publishing.af.mil/production/1/af_a1/publication/afi36-2618/afi36-2618.pdf