Symposium gives helpful information to SNCOs Published Aug. 24, 2006 By Tyler Hemstreet 62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- Because the move in rank from technical sergeant to master sergeant brings with it more responsibilities, base officials put on a Senior Noncommissioned Officer Symposium Aug. 7-11 here to help Airmen prepare for what lies ahead. Helping newly promoted senior noncommissioned officers learn many things they need to know was the goal of the week-long symposium, said Master Sgt. Mark Yurkovich, one of the symposium's instructors from the 62nd Medical Support Squadron. "We're tiering it down for them so they get the whole perspective," he said. "We want to make sure they start off on the right foot in their careers [because] when you put on that stripe you don't know everything that you should know." Newly-promoted master sergeants were given the opportunity to listen to lectures on topics such as SNCO responsibilities, mentoring and counseling, as well as maintaining discipline, leadership and personal financial management. While many in attendance were already familiar with what encompasses senior military management, several Airmen said they received a good refresher course in how this new level of management works. "It enlightens you to a lot of things that go on at this level," said Master Sgt. Brad Nelson, 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. "[The information] has been a bit of an eye-opener." Sergeant Nelson said he also enjoyed the portion of the symposium that focused on enforcing military customs and courtesies, which also struck a chord with Master Sgt. Melissa Caffrey, 62nd Logistics Readiness Squadron. "It's a good way to get you re-blued," she said. "We start getting too comfortable and we need a refresher course. That way you don't forget what you represent." The leadership and discipline principals expressed in some of the forums heightened her level of awareness, which was something she said she would take back to the workplace, said Sergeant Caffrey. In an effort to reconnect and put some active mentorship into the event, the new SNCOs spent the final segments of one of their days on a 7.5 mile run with some first-term Airmen. "I thought the run was great," Sergeant Nelson said. "[It was] good team building." Master Sgt. Andrew Goodnight, 62nd Medical Operations Squadron, said the course presenters' zeal stood out to him. "I was impressed with the drive [the speakers displayed] to be a part of that NCO team," he said. In addition to attaining another level of professional military education, the symposium was positive in that it also stressed the importance of a civilian education, said Master Sgt. Ron Edgington, 62nd Airlift Wing legal office. "When you bring in that education to go along with the [professional military education], it does more for your whole development," he said. The symposium also gave the new SNCOs a chance to hear from those on the SNCO promotion board. Master Sgt. Patrick McCarty, 8th Airlift Squadron, said the presentation from the promotion board increased his understanding of promotion boards as well as other topics. "If you want to go farther, [the symposium] laid out what needs to be done," he said.