First Four provides opportunities for Airmen to soar
By Senior Airman Shane Dunaway, 36th Wing Public Affairs
/ Published February 15, 2009
ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- The Andersen First Four Council provides an outlet for Airmen seeking professional growth and striving to be an active part of improving the morale, welfare and quality of life of their peers.
The First Four, governed by an executive board featuring a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and four trustees, is open to all ranks within the Airman tier. In fact, every Airman assigned here is a member of the First Four, according to the First Four's constitution.
The organization meets every second Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. in the HotSpot.
"The organization is run by Airmen for Airmen," said Airman 1st Class Jeremiah Drake, First Four president. "It's the simplest way for Airmen to speak out about their problems, find solutions and showcase what they can do for themselves, the Air Force and the local community."
Two examples of morale-building activities the First Four organizes include barbecues and snorkeling trips, but any Airman is free to provide input on events they would like to see happen. The council also seeks innovative ideas for fundraising and volunteer efforts on and off base.
"The advantages are what you make of them," Airman Drake said. "With maximum participation, we can do almost anything. The council we have now is willing to do anything within our limits for any of the Airmen out there, but we don't know what you need until you tell us. I challenge every Airman to come to one of our meetings and pose a problem or idea to us, and see if we don't do our best to resolve it."
Active participation in the First Four also helps Airmen hone their leadership abilities as they pursue the noncommissioned officer rungs of the Air Force rank ladder, as well as providing networking opportunities.
"Being a council member of organizations such as the First Four has given me the chance to work with many people outside of my career field," said Staff Sgt. Christopher Cook, a former First Four president now assigned to the 4th Comptroller Squadron, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. "It has given me the opportunity to motivate and also learn the interests of my peers around me."
In January, the First Four held a free barbecue for all Airmen and their families. Despite their efforts, the turnout was low, reinforcing the adage, "You can lead an Airman to water, but you can't make them drink."
"Too many people complain because there is nothing to do at their current duty station," Sergeant Cook said. "To those people, I challenge you to become active in your private organization. There are endless opportunities when you all work together to achieve the same goal. If you don't feel you have the time or the initiative to be a council member, the body of the group is just as vital."
Airmen seeking more information about First Four are invited to the general membership meeting to be held March 10 at 3:30 p.m. at the HotSpot.