United States Air Force
January 2012 — Present
The first sergeant works directly for and derive their authority from the unit commander at home station, deployed commander when deployed, and serves as the commander’s critical link within the unit for all matters concerning enlisted members. As the vital link between the commander, enlisted personnel and support agencies, the first sergeant must ensure the enlisted force understands the commander’s policies, goals, and objectives and must also ensure support agencies, i.e., securi forces, civil engineer, medical facilities, services, etc., are responsive to the needs of unit personnel and their families. Additionally, first sergeants are accountable to respond to the needs of unit members 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and may at times, be required to work long and irregular hours, travel extensively to and from mission destinations. They must remain vigilant for, and use the necessary authority to resolve issues that, left unchecked, would adversely impact readiness. The first sergeant principally leads outside the operational chain of command. Specifically, first sergeants communicate with unit leadership, supervisors and members to ensure discipline is equitably maintained and morale, welfare, and health needs for the enlisted force are met. The first sergeant serves as the commander’s advisor on personnel programs, career progression, family needs, financial matters, family and unaccompanied housing, details, Professional Military Education (PME), recognition programs and any additional needs required by the commander. Furthermore, the first sergeant will perform quality force reviews and ensure timely processing of performance reports, awards, decorations, promotions, classification actions, quality control and disciplinary actions . The first sergeant must ensure unit members are prepared to deploy while maintaining their own personal readiness.