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Massachusetts Air National Guard Junior Enlisted Symposium

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Story by SFC Laura Berry on 03/14/2019
More than 60 members of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, Active Duty Air Force and Air Force Reserves were in attendance at the Massachusetts Air National Guard Junior Enlisted Symposium (JES), which was held at Joint Force Headquarters, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., March 12-13, 2019.

The first day of the JES brought together junior enlisted airmen for training focusing on leadership, planning for their futures and other professional development to keep them focused to progress as airmen and individuals.

The attendees were addressed by the Adjutant General of the Massachusetts National Guard, Maj. Gen. Gary Keefe and Brig. Gen. James LeFavor, the Massachusetts Air National Guard Air Commander and Chief of Staff.

"How do I see myself as an effective leader?"

"What is the one quality that you would like to be remembered for?"

These and other thought provoking challenge questions were delivered by Dr. Michael Frost, Keynote Speaker at the symposium. His motivational instruction on leadership guided the junior enlisted to prepare themselves as leaders even if they are not in that role yet.

"Informal leaders are the go to people in the organization," said Frost. "They are the ones that get the job done."

The current Massachusetts Air National Guard State Command Chief, Chief Master Sgt. Richard MacDonald opened and closed with remarks and the newly selected State Command Chief, Chief Master Sgt. Michelle O'Keefe was introduced and briefed the group.

Some non-commissioned officer professional development lectures were delivered by Human Resource Advisors Chief Master Sgt. Wing Ng and Senior Master Sgt. Fran Frederick, as well as Hanscom Air Force Base Airman Leadership School (ALS) Commandant Master Sgt. Ryan Dillingham and ALS Instructor Staff Sgt. Sonia Severino.

On the second day of the symposium, the airmen were given the opportunity to attend a guided historic tour of Lexington and Concord, Mass., which was led by Leonid Kondratiuk, Director of Historical Services, Massachusetts National Guard Office of the Adjutant General.

"Growing up in Massachusetts, I've never actually been out here," said Staff Sgt. Brian Nasuta, 58th Aerial Port Squadron. "I mean, I'm in the military, why didn't I come out here sooner? This is where the military started. I feel proud, it's awesome."


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