Vance recognizes newest senior NCOs

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. James Bolinger
  • 71st FTW Public Affairs
Team Vance gathered Sept. 2 to recognize the base's newest senior NCOs at the Vance Collocated Club during a recognition ceremony.

Eight Airmen who were selected for promotion to master sergeant were recognized in an evening highlighted by guest speaker Chief Master Sgt. Robert Boyer, the 19 Air Force command chief.

This year was the first year that the Air Force used a promotion board to select Airmen to join the top enlisted tier, said Chief Master Sgt. Peter Speen, the 71st Flying Training Wing command chief.

"And we got it right this time, didn't we?" he asked the audience to cheers and applause. 

Previously only Air Force E-8s and E-9s have been selected via a promotion board, but as part of the new enlisted promotion and recognition system, all E-7s and above will be selected by a promotion board.

This was the first time Master Sgt. Rick Myers, the 71st Security Forces Squadron antiterrorism officer and an 18-year veteran, had ever attended a Senior NCO Recognition Ceremony.

"Most bases have so many selects that they can only bring one guest, and the other attendees are chiefs and other senior NCOs," said Myers. "I've never had the opportunity to attend one."

While the evening was special, the highlight of the day was really the two-hour mentoring session with Chief Boyer and all of Vance's master sergeant selects, said Myers.

"He was a very personable guy," he said. "We didn't stop talking for the entire two hours."

The primary discussion with the chief was about the new promotion system, said Myers.

"We went in depth with how the new board system works," he said. "We talked about how the Air Force is going to push forward through any kinks that might arise, and how to better prepare our troops for future boards."

"I think that information will allow us to mentor tech. sergeants who will face the board in the future," said Myers.

During the dinner, each selectee and his or her guest was recognized as they walked under a sword arch provided by the Vance Silver Talon Top Three. Each member was also presented a wooden plaque carved into the shape of master sergeant stripes with each member's line number carved into the middle.

Boyer addressed the crowd, but focused his message toward the selectees during his speech.

"Each of us remembers at least one senior NCO who you want to be like," said Boyer. "And, each of us remembers one who we don't want to be like, and then there are the ones in the middle who we don't remember at all. Who are you going to be? I want you to strive to be remembered."

Myers, like every Airman, has a mentor from the past.

"Tech. Sgt. Jeffery Drew never made master sergeant," said Myers. "That was back in the '90s when promotion rates were low, but his actions made an impression on me that I won't ever forget. We still talk, and I bounce ideas off of him."

Drew taught Myers what it means to take care of your Airman, no matter what, he said. He was a mentor to be remembered, for the right reasons.