Wright-Patterson spotlight

Name and rank: Master Sgt. Kesha Harper

Units of assignment: 88th Mission Support Group staff, 88th Force Support Squadron and 88th Logistics Readiness Squadron

What’s your job like every day? Every day has endless realms of possibilities — from leadership decisions to talking to my civilians and Airmen about their everyday accomplishments and challenges. It’s safe to say that no two days mirror another in the first sergeant world.

You have to be prepared for the unexpected, and if it is something that you have never experienced before, there is always another first sergeant you can call on to help guide you.

Do you have a mentoring or career tip for Airmen, including those who’d like to be a “first shirt” someday?

If you are thinking about being a first sergeant, you are probably already doing the thing that matters the most: taking care of people.

Taking care of people comes with a cost of carrying a load. In order to take care of other people’s success and see them through difficult times, you have to first know yourself and know how to take care of yourself. Every day is a learning opportunity, so take the time to learn about yourself.

Being a first sergeant will challenge you and also grow you as a person. Also, be vulnerable, open and honest. If you don’t, people will see right through it and the trust that you are working to build will be compromised.

What’s your favorite part of being a first sergeant and why?

The smiling faces and positive energy that I get from the people around me. Hearing the words “hey shirt,” knowing that people trust that I will do anything that I can to help them, as well as providing them with the tools to handle their own situations in the future.

That is the beauty of being a first sergeant; you not only get to help but you have the opportunity to pour into others so they can help themselves and pay it forward.

Finally, I love being part of the first sergeant family. I have never met so many great people that are willing to put others first and still find the time to grow themselves as senior noncommissioned officers.

Good order and discipline through kindness, peace, love and respect.

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