TUCSON, Ariz. --
Chief master sergeants at the 162nd Fighter Wing hosted the year's first base barbeque here Jan. 28 to achieve two important goals - raise funds to help Airmen, and increase the visibility of the Chiefs Council on base.
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The council, made up of the highest-ranking enlisted members of the wing, meets regularly to address and resolve issues affecting the unit's enlisted corps. Their new initiatives for 2011 are to recognize outstanding performance though on-the-spot rewards and to start a new scholarship program for deserving Guardsmen.
"We're looking at handing out gift cards and Chiefs Council coins to outstanding troops and starting a scholarship - though we're not sure yet what the amount will be," said Chiefs Council President Chief Master Sgt. Karen Henry. "We also want to make ourselves more visible, effective and viable to the young troops and we think by having lunch with them periodically we can do that."
At the first barbecue, the chiefs served about 130 wing members. For $5 each, hungry Airmen were supplied hotdogs, hamburgers, baked beans, chips and a drink.
"It's a good deal and it's a great idea," said Staff Sgt. Jessie Ochs, 162nd Communication Flight. "It's always good to give back."
According to Chief Master Sgt. George Silvas, the council hopes these gatherings will be a platform for enhancing communication and morale.
"This one has been extremely successful. It's a good time. You get to socialize with people that you normally don't see on base," said Chief Silvas.
"We always look at how we can be more visible on base as chiefs, how can we help mentor and how can we help groom our people for leadership. We want to continue to be innovative in what we do and how we do it. Morale could be 99 percent, but we want it to be 100 percent at all times."
The next burger burn will be at the maintenance group in April.
"We will try to do this a few times per year - maybe not during the summer months because of the heat, but perhaps in January, April, September and October," said Chief Henry.