Friendly competition for professional organizations

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Lucas Morrow
  • 914th Air Refueling Wing

Representatives from each 914th Air Refueling Wing professional organization gathered for an early breakfast last Sunday, March 7, 2021, to meet with Col. Carl Magnusson, 914th Air Refueling Wing commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Scott Peters, 914th ARW command chief, at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, New York. The topic of discussion was everything from morale, welfare, change and expectations, and at the center of the table, an object shrouded in a blue cloth.

The 914th ARW has six distinct professional organizations; The Rising 4 for airmen through senior airmen, the 5/6 Council for staff sergeants and technical sergeants, the Top 3 for master sergeants through chief master sergeants, the Chief's Group for all chief master sergeants, the CGOC for second lieutenants through captains, and the First Sergeant’s Council for first sergeants. All groups are self-managed and open for 914th airmen to join.

During the breakfast, leadership opened the discussion with prospects of a wing climate survey to gauge the morale and welfare of airmen at all professional levels. Col. Magnusson said the survey was delayed with COVID-19 limitations, but now that airmen are back on station, they're ready to launch the survey.

"I need feedback and conjecture, and I need everything to be rolled up in all of this," said Magnusson. "I need to hear both sides of every story--I need to hear from every rank."

Magnusson said the results of the survey will help him understand which areas need more focus. Chief Master Sgt. Peters pressed the necessity of the wing's professional organizations to help affect positive change. Change has been a major topic of discussion for senior Air Force leadership since Gen. Charles "CQ" Brown Jr., Air Force Chief of Staff, released his strategic approach of Accelerate Change or Lose last year.

"Air Force leadership has made it clear that it's time to change,” said Magnusson. “For the wing, change is everything from full-spectrum readiness to ponytails, and more changes are on the horizon. It will be up to the wing's airmen to lead that change for the better."

Magnusson said leadership is also preparing for a wing-wide stand down event for the May UTA to discuss extremism in the military, a direction initiated by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin earlier last month. Details of the event are still being managed, but leadership says they plan to have both an officer and enlisted call during the event.

The breakfast concluded by unveiling an incentive for each organization to strive for excellence where Chief Master Sgt. Peters finally stood and revealed the table’s mysterious centerpiece. A buffalo statuette standing on a long plank of wood bookended by the wing commander and command chief's challenge coins.

"This is the wing professional organization's new traveling trophy," said Peters. "We're going to be looking at membership, activity, and professional development in each organization to determine who can hold the honor for one month. The boss and I hope that holding it will continue to motivate our airmen to do great things."

The traveling trophy is scheduled to be officially presented during the May UTA enlisted and officer calls. 914th ARW airmen can learn how to join their professional organization by visiting