Joining others to advance yourself

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- The leadership on base constantly remind junior enlisted to be a part of the Airmen Committed to Excellence, because they know the various ways it can help us.

However, it's those same junior enlisted giving numerous reasons why not to go. Oftentimes, I hear that it's just a waste of time, but it's from the Airmen who've never given it a shot. I'll even admit I was an Airman giving excuses until not too long ago.

The first meeting I attended, our command chief was the guest speaker for an audience of 12 people, and he wasn't happy about it. He told us we needed to be better wingmen and make sure to bring people to the next meeting. As he continued to speak, I started to feel guilty because I had been stationed at Goodfellow for more than a year, and this was my first time attending a meeting.

Although guilt wasn't enough to make me want to stay, the ACE members did. In them, I saw the potential for great leaders. These people cared about their base and were willing to go out of their way to help a fellow wingman. They were the reason I wanted to become more involved. I wanted to be a little bit more like them and try to accomplish more for myself.

Through ACE I have had the chance to connect with mentors outside of the organization. Oftentimes, there are 5/6 Council and Top 3 representatives at our meetings providing guidance for our club. Outside of the monthly meetings, ACE participates in speed mentoring sessions where senior NCOs educate junior enlisted on several topics of interest such as what makes a good bullet or what the future of the Air Force holds.

Once you pick up a few leadership skills, you can even put them to use. ACE enables Airmen to hosts a variety of volunteer opportunities and is constantly looking for members to step up and take charge. This can help individuals gain valuable experience for the next stage of their career or fill a slot on their enlisted performance report.

Even if you're not looking for the leadership experience, ACE still has so much to offer. The organization is constantly hosting social events to give its member a chance to connect with each other. These activities are great for new Airmen or those looking to make new friends, helping us build on the social fitness aspect of our four Comprehensive Airmen Fitness pillars.

These are just a few reasons why our leadership wants us to be active in our professional organization. They know the numerous ways it can benefit us. If you're serious about the Air Force, why not give it a shot?