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Holm Center command section: NCOs making a difference
Brig Gen. Teresa Djuric, former Holm Center commander, Tech. Sgt. Renika Kenan, NCOIC, executive services, Holm Center, and Tech. Sgt. Damien Pierce, executive assistant, Holm Center, team up to solve an Officer Training School-related issue last month. (Air Force Photo/Airman 1st Class Christopher S. Stoltz)
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Holm Center command section NCOs making a difference

Posted 11/12/2010   Updated 11/17/2010 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Christopher S. Stoltz
Air University Public Affairs

11/12/2010 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- When walking into a command section of a wing, squadron, or organization, one may find officers throughout, completing their individual jobs to effectively support the mission. However, in the Holm Center command section, Tech. Sgt. Renika Kenan and Tech. Sgt. Damien Pierce are some of the first individuals a person sees when entering.

It is uncommon, but not necessarily rare seeing non-commissioned officers working in a command section. However, if NCOs are found in the command section, it is because they are some of the best NCOs in their career field, because the standards, expectations and requirements from a command-staff are extremely high.

"When selecting an NCO to work for the Holm Center command section, they have to possess certain qualities," said Chief Master Sgt. Nicholas Slater, superintendent, Holm Center. "They must be a professional who always brings their A-game, be dedicated to the mission, take ownership in their job, understand, know and articulate the process, be an effective communicator, be able to lead subordinates and exercise effective followership to accomplish the mission and understand the Holm Center's mission and how their daily activities contribute to it.

Although it may seem like a long list of requirements, they exist because the command-section staff must be the best, because they directly assist their commander in achieving their daily mission.

"Every person in a command staff works together toward one primary goal," said Col. Stewart Price, vice commander, Holm Center. "They help the commander be the most effective leader possible and it goes without saying a command-staff NCO must be an absolute expert on their assigned duties. They must also exhibit loyalty to the unit mission and commander, be personally invested in achieving success and contribute proactively to a positive work environment. If they don't have the personality that makes those things possible, then it isn't going to work out."

Fortunately for the Holm Center, they have Technical Sergeants Renika Kenan and Damien Pierce serving in this viable role, and it is working out quite well.

"Technical sergeants Kenan and Pierce are self-starters and team-builders, two outstanding leadership traits we rely on in the Holm Center command section," said Brig. Gen. Teresa Djuric, former Holm Center commander. "These two NCOs are the foundation of the Holm Center command section, which includes 22 people. They ensure the command section works together to support its major programs which include: Reserve Officer Training Corps, Officer Training School, Civil Air Patrol-USAF and Junior ROTC. They also ensure the Holm Center meets its individual Air Force requirements and professional-development needs."

Working in the command section presents stressful situations and unique challenges, but it provides rewarding experiences as well.

"Having served the military for 12 years, this is the first assignment that I've been a part of that includes such a diverse group of personnel filled with both broad capabilities and talents," said Tech. Sgt. Renika Kenan, NCOIC, Executive Services, Holm Center. "Every day presents a different challenge but provides both personal and professional growth and I am a better Air Force Airman due to my experiences here."

Tech. Sgt. Damien Pierce, executive assistant, Holm Center, concurred and said working for a Center Commander has been one of the more-stressful and more-challenging positions he has held in 12 years serving in the Air Force. However, the challenging part is what makes it unique, he said.

He also said being able to see the commander in action is both inspiring and motivating, making the every-day tasks and challenges worthwhile.

"It is different than working for a command section compared to a normal chain-of-command because you witness the Holm Center commander making strategic level decisions, and in turn see personnel execute orders affecting center personnel and more than 125,000 OTS, AFROTC, JROTC, and CAP-USAF trainees and cadets located throughout the United States," he said. "The breadth of the Holm Center's serviced community and seeing the center commander make decisions which impact so many is what makes it great. Working in the command staff and directly supporting a commander with such a challenging mission makes being a part of it so rewarding."

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