Honor Guard helps mayor teach leadership to Shaw Airmen

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Krystal M. Jeffers
  • 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Sumter Mayor Joseph McElveen Jr., spoke to Shaw Airmen about leadership and Airmen also watched a performance by the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team here, March 15.

The event kick started Leadership Friday, which will be held once a quarter on Fridays and will be open to Team Shaw members. Each event will focus on a guest speaker who is a leader within the Sumter and Shaw community. The events will be sponsored by private organizations like Top 3 who sponsored the first event.

"Leadership Friday will allow us the opportunity to hear from all types of speakers both local civic community leaders and senior military leaders," said Master Sgt. Emilia Martin, Air Forces Central first sergeant and the vice president of Top 3. Martin was also the master of ceremonies during the event. "As Airmen we are always striving to be the best that we can be and are taught to surround ourselves with great people to be successful. By bringing in successful leaders we will be able to take away valuable traits from each of our speakers that will help us reach that goal."

Col. Lance Kildron, 20th Fighter Wing vice commander, joined Airmen of all ranks to listen to McElveen's presentation and watch the drill team's weapons demonstration.

"Overall, I thought the leadership discussion by the mayor was very relevant to what our active-duty Airmen face every day," Kildron said. "The biggest things he highlighted in the discussion were: what good leadership qualities were, the importance of empowering people to do their job, the need to always give them feedback, the benefits of cultivating relationships with those that we work with and work for you, and to always look out and take care of your people."

Other Airmen in the audience also enjoyed the mayor's speech.

"It was good and pretty informative," said Senior Airman Marcella Hengehold, 9th Air Force knowledge operations manager. "It gave us insight into his life experiences and allowed us to learn a little more about the mayor. I also learned how to be a good leader and the qualities it takes."

McElveen's speech wasn't the only thing the Airmen had the chance to enjoy. They were also given the opportunity to watch the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard perform a weapons demonstration.

"The USAF Honor Guard Drill Team didn't speak much, but their performance spoke volumes about leadership," said Master Sgt. Christopher Cohen, Shaw AFB Honor Guard superintendent. Cohen also helped coordinate the USAF Honor Guard visit. "The complex training they endure enables the team to execute at a level that's unmatched. With effective leadership, their performance demonstrated what a team can achieve with hard work, dedication and an unwavering sense of excellence. All of which correlates into the purpose of Leadership Friday."

The vice commander also walked away impressed with the presentation.

"It was amazing," Kildron said. "It was the first time I have been honored with their presence and it was an outstanding performance."

The drill team's performance ended with a standing ovation.