GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE, Texas --
Even pets were welcomed to the event to dye for, which offered free music, food, a movie and tie-dye, located at the marching pad on Goodfellow Air Force Base Sept. 22.
The event was proposed and coordinated by Airman 1st Class Jessica Thelen, 315 Training Squadron intelligence analyst, who wanted to provide a social event for Airmen, noncommissioned officers, and Senior NCOs to reach out and learn from each other.
“Once I got my vision out there, sergeant Moody was really my organizational person,” said Thelen. “He would go out there and get all the little things that we needed. Technical sergeant Baugh was able to pull some other organizations on board.”
With the different groups and organizations came different perspectives and goals for providing mentoring opportunities.
“This gives NCOs a chance to mentor Airmen,” said Thelen. “We provided food, music and fun to allow them to relax and integrate with the Airmen. We have everyone here. We have permanent party Airmen along with tech school students from the 312th, 315th and 316th. We have permanent party medical group and civil engineers here mentoring as well. We have a very strong presence from all across Air Force organizations.”
Each mentor present had a badge that provided more information to the Airmen allowing them to know who and what to ask so they could get the most helpful information.
“Each of the mentors that’s here is wearing a name tag that identifies not only who they are and where they work but also what role they play right now in the 17th Training Wing and also any special duties they have,” said Master Sgt. Jason Estrada, 17th Medical Support Squadron superintendent. “This helps by providing information to any newer Airmen who wish to learn. It is important that they know the things that we have experienced in our time, especially as a Senior NCO, because that will help them deal with things as they encounter them.”
Along with helping new Airmen prepare for their future the event provided a fun social alternative.
“The turnout is great,” said Airman Abraham Bueno, 17th Communication Squadron network operations technician. “There are a lot of people already here and there looks like there are more on the way, I love how it is going right now. Morale changes attitude and attitude can change a whole base around. It brings around new ideas, positive attitude in the work environment, and it is contagious. People have the mindset of being at a base that isn’t a big city you can’t find things to do, but events like these show you can have fun in a positive environment”
Thelen identified several keys that made the event successful.
“You got to have something original and then the key is the integration,” said Thelen. “We had the reason to have the event, which was the mentorship, but then bringing in activities that people like doing, like the music, dancing and tie-dye. Get an idea and get someone that will back you. I couldn’t have done it by myself, but with the backers I had it was possible.”