Professional organizations improve 2nd Bomb Wing; Airmen

By 1st Lt. Tori Lalich 2 BW/PA

Acronyms are everywhere: F4AA, CGOC, 5/6, Top 3, FSC and the list goes on. To some Airmen, these acronyms only represent a mixture of numbers and letters. To others, they represent professional military organizations designed to improve social networking, inspire professional relationships and encourage wingmanship around the 2nd Bomb Wing.

Professional organizations also reach beyond the base and serve as a liaison between the Airmen and community for various volunteer activities.

"Many private organizations have different events and volunteer opportunities that they support," said Master Sgt. Bryan Wilson, Barksdale First Sergeants Council president. "If we didn't have private organizations it is likely that many of these events or volunteer opportunities would not be supported."

Involvement in professional organizations can positively improve the careers of their members through the vital networking skills they acquire.

"Professional organizations are the cornerstone of any occupation, and they are vital to our military," said Chief Master Sgt. Larry Malcom, 2 BW command chief. "Through these organizations, we establish community and connections, and we band together to build esprit de corps."

Many professional organizations host activities and participate in base events to boost morale for their members and for Airmen across the base.

"The Top 3 has led all the monthly promotion ceremonies, several of the promotion-release ceremonies, and we've assisted hundreds of Barksdale families through the Airman's Attic," said Senior Master Sgt. Robert Todd, Barksdale Top 3 president. "We have also awarded six scholarships, coordinated volunteers for the air show and sponsored three Airmen appreciation events: the dorm social, a pool party and an appreciation dinner."
Individuals who participate in professional organizations are grateful for the benefits of these groups within their daily duties.

"One benefit of the Company Grade Officers Council is getting to know your peers and learning their AFSCs," said 2nd Lt. Joe Regan, 2nd Comptroller Squadron Financial Service Office flight commander. "I can't tell you how many times I have been given a task outside my specific AFSC, and my first thought is 'who from the CGOC can help me complete this task quickly and easily?'"

Barksdale has an organization to fit every Airman's needs. The First Four Airmen's Association is available to those with the rank of E-1 through E-4, the Barksdale 5/6, for E-5 and E-6, and the Top 3, for E-7 through E-9. For officers, the Company Grade Officers Council is available to the ranks of O-1 through O-3.

"Professional organizations are essential to the success of our wing and the Airmen that comprise it," said Malcom. "From the Airman's Attic, Loan Locker, CCAF Graduations, and many local events--professional military organizations are engaged to take care of Airmen and our local community. I encourage everyone who does not already participate in these fantastic organizations to get involved."