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JEC: developing leaders, making a difference

Staff Sgt. David Nichols, aircraft maintainer and Junior Enlisted Council member, helps pick up trash in front of the base as part of the council’s ‘Adopt Valencia’ monthly cleanup effort. The JEC takes on several projects each year to improve the base and the local community. (Air National Guard photo by Capt. Gabe Johnson)

Staff Sgt. David Nichols, aircraft maintainer and Junior Enlisted Council member, helps pick up trash in front of the base as part of the council’s ‘Adopt Valencia’ monthly cleanup effort. The JEC takes on several projects each year to improve the base and the local community. (Air National Guard photo by Capt. Gabe Johnson)

TUCSON, Ariz. --
Junior Enlisted Council mission:
"Giving voice to the junior enlisted ranks, while playing an integral part in leadership development."

Getting involved
The 162nd Fighter Wing Junior Enlisted Council (JEC) is the wing's leading organization for the development of its junior members and serves as a powerful volunteer force for base and community relations initiatives.

Once a month, JEC holds a meeting for all junior enlisted members. They are opportunities to discuss concerns and present new ideas for the JEC. The council makes it a point to support projects that positively impact the unit and the Tucson community. It also identifies any internal concerns and discusses possible solutions.

The JEC serves as the junior enlisted voice to the wing commander and staff. JEC membership, ranging in rank from airman basic to technical sergeant, consists of full-time members as well as Drill Status Guardsmen. All participation is completely voluntary.

Council heritage
In September of 1994, Col. Richard Rose, former Maintenance Group commander, requested a junior enlisted organization for the base. The Logistics Junior Enlisted Council was established as a result. Soon after, the council extended to the entire wing evolving into what is now the 162nd Fighter Wing Junior Enlisted Council (JEC). Colonel Rose saw there was a need for enlisted members to have an avenue for problem solving.

How do I become a member of the JEC?
To become a member, simply attend the JEC meetings and get involved in council activities. There are always opportunities for people to volunteer for different events, on and off base.

Council members are valuable volunteer resources for the Haunted Hangar cake walk; Airman Against Drunk Driving (AADD); the JEC Morale Softball Tournament; Adopt Valencia; the Volleyball Tournament; Wing Festival; and the Wing Dining In. These events are only some of the opportunities available.

As active members of the JEC, Guardsmen can make a large impact outside the gates. Through community service projects the council's efforts pay tremendous dividends in community relations for the wing, base, Air National Guard and military as a whole. With much-needed support from the Tucson community, the wing is able to continue its state and federal missions.

JEC adapting to the mission
With the start of 2008, the JEC adopted new members, new officers and a new mission focus. One goal is to increase morale among the junior enlisted on base. Due to recent turbulence caused by manpower issues, resets and high operations tempo, the JEC will focus on keeping up morale to meet new challenges.

In a Guardsman's line of work, attention to detail and attitude go hand-in-hand ensuring mission accomplishment and safety. Every junior enlisted member is encouraged to attend JEC meetings to contribute valuable input and ideas on how to meet our goal of raising morale.

The next JEC meeting will be held in the base auditorium Sunday, May 4, at 1 p.m.