PATRICK SPACE FORCE BASE, Fla. --
For exemplary leadership and outstanding contributions to 920th Rescue Wing’s combat search and rescue mission, the 920th Rescue Wing’s First Sergeant Council was named not only the 10th Air Force’s 2022 First Sergeant Council of the Year but also the 2022 Air Force Reserve Command First Sergeant Council of the Year.
The First Sergeant Council consists of every first sergeant within the 920th RQW, to include the wing’s geographically separated units at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, Portland International Airport, Oregon, and Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.
“This award reflects the leadership that the first sergeant council provides to the wing. They worked together to accomplish everything they did this year. It wasn't any one person, it was the council as a whole and everyone mattered and contributed,” said Senior Master Sgt. Vimari De La Cruz, 308th Rescue Squadron first sergeant.
According to award, the council sustained mission, morale, welfare, and resiliency for over 1,800 deployed Airmen. Additionally, they launched a multi-day resiliency program, training 11 First Sergeants in emotional intelligence and personal resiliency.
After securing the award at the Numbered Air Force level, the council then competed against other NAF-level winners within Air Force Reserve Command. Ultimately, the 920th RQW first sergeant council was chosen as the award recipient based on their community impact, mission readiness, promotion of wellbeing, Airman resiliency, and more.
Three of the wing’s 17 First Sergeants were deployed from their respective units in support of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE, Operation SPARTAN SHIELD, and the Presidential Task Force. They established a squadron-level resiliency program, prioritizing the Air Force’s Enlisted Force Development Action Plan which accredited 21 resilience training assistants, with nine assistants rooted in deployed locations.
A United States First Sergeant helps Airmen in both their personal and professional careers by enforcing discipline and ensuring Airmen are in a state of readiness for deployment. Additionally, a First Sergeant acts as a liaison between Airmen and leadership and they advise commanders on the readiness, health, morale, welfare, and quality of life of Airmen and their families to ensure a mission-ready force. They provide programs to Airmen and their families and plan mentorship events.
“This recognition is not a result of our first sergeants attempting to beat the competition, but because they always give it their all and they meet the needs of the wing and our Airmen without fail. They do their job without expectation of reward and for that I am incredibly proud,” said Master Sgt. Deidre Barry, 920th RQW first sergeant.
First Sergeants assist in the enabling of 920th RQW Airmen to continue to successfully execute the wing’s mission to plan, lead and conduct military rescue operations while denying competitors and adversaries exploitation of isolated personnel.