Class of ’93 brings outstanding airmen to NCLS

A highlight of the Air Force Academy’s 2019 National Character and Leadership Symposium (NCLS) was a panel discussion with 10 of the 2018 Outstanding Airmen of the Year recipients.

The session was supported in part by the Class of ’93, which raised more than $100,000 for the NCLS Panel Fund through their 25th reunion class gift project.

The airmen fielded questions from the audience, discussing various aspects of effective leadership and development.

One cadet asked the panel for advice from an enlisted perspective on how he and other future officers can succeed when they become second lieutenants.

“My biggest advice to all of you is to keep an open mind. When you graduate, you’re not going to know everything, so when you get to your squadron, it’s going to be very intimidating,” said Senior Master Sgt. Lucero Stockett. “So, when you get there, keep an open mind, latch on to a good senior NCO that’s going to teach you the ropes, who’s going to help you grow as the officer that you need to be.”

Master Sgt. Kit C. Lui encouraged cadets to fully utilize the education, skills and talents of the enlisted airmen they serve with.

“Our enlisted workforce is extremely powerful,” Lui said. “Within our enlisted workforce we have a lot of personnel that have bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees — we have a lot of technical expertise within our skill sets. What I would adviseour graduating class, our cadets, our future lieutenants is when you get to your installation, learn about the capabilities of your airmen and NCOs. When you have to make some decision, work with your senior NCO and your NCOs to try to gather some of their ideas and input to come to your own decision.”

Following the panel session, Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David Goldfein congratulated the airmen, talked to them about their service and greeted cadets, exchanging challenge coins with the future officers.

Cadet 4thClass Richard Pardey was proud to have received a coin from the chief. He was just as proud of the enlisted airmen represented by the panel. 

“Personally, the way I see it, the enlisted workforce is actually the most valuable in the Air Force,” Pardey said. “If it wasn’t for the enlisted people at this base, this base wouldn’t be running.”



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