A first sergeant's UTA

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Jason Bergum
  • 934th Maintenance Squadron first sergeant
Welcome to a world of organized chaos. As much as each First Sergeant tries to plan out their UTA weekends, it all comes down to being able to work in a world of unknowns. The motto "Semper Gumby" (always flexible) comes to mind when I describe the work schedule of any given First Sergeant.

Our Friday before the weekend is spent in preparation of the "knowns" that we will tackle on any given weekend. These include awards and decorations, family care plans, upcoming discipline and ceremonies to name a few. All First Sergeants also participate in our Diamond Council meeting this day, where we get a chance to voice common concerns, plan events, and share information between ourselves and the Command Chief. If there are leadership meetings in a unit, these usually occur on Fridays also.

Once we launch into the UTA, anything goes. Commanders frequently stop by with requests for us alone to handle. And while we each have mandatory and planned items that must be attended to, our primary concern is people. "Got a second Shirt?" is our key to stop and listen to something important happening in our Airman's lives. It could be something as simple as a newcomer briefing or unimaginable such as a sexual assault. People are the reason we signed up for this special duty - to make a difference in their lives.

It is definitely not the easy path to follow while being promoted through the ranks, but I can guarantee there is not a position more rewarding at the end of a UTA.