Professional organizations – good for more than just an EPR bullet

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- Late this past summer, I found myself thrown into leading a professional organization called the Rising Four. The Rising Four is for Airmen in the ranks of Airman Basic through Senior Airman, and aims to get Airmen out of their dorms, meeting new people and helping out in their communities. When I agreed to become the president, I didn't really understand what the group was and what it could do for young Airmen.

When I first came to McChord Field, I felt that the Rising Four was just another group constantly sending me e-mails about volunteer events that would help fill a bullet on my enlisted performance report. However, I began to attend some of their volunteer groups at the Tacoma Rescue Mission and found that it was also a great way to meet other Airmen with a similar drive to improve themselves. While I began to realize what kind of organization this was, I could never have guessed what it might become.

The Rising Four has become so much more since those first few events I attended. To me, it is no longer just a venue for EPR bullets. It is, however, a very effective way for us to become better Airmen, who will in turn become better supervisors.

We often work with the First Sergeants group who act as mentors for our Airmen. They come to our meetings and answer questions and explain how to help make our Air Force careers the best they can be. Having that level of mentorship helps Airmen avoid making mistakes that could be detrimental to their careers.

As the Rising Four continues to grow, the benefits available to Airmen will expand. We add new events to our calendar every week, and I hope that more Airmen will take advantage of all we have to offer them.

Editor's note: For information on how you can get involved with the Rising Four organization, contact Airman 1st Class Brad Alaska at (253) 982-5883