Chiefs are made here

  • Published
  • By Maj. Roxy Hambleton
  • 482nd Force Support Squadron
Twenty senior airmen from the 482nd Force Support Squadron at Homestead Air Reserve Base attended an “EPR Signing Party” earlier this month to commemorate the signing of their first Enlisted Performance Report.

The party’s theme, “Chiefs are made here” was the brainchild of the 482nd FSS Commander, Lt. Col. Michelle Watson. “I wanted every senior airman to feel this was the beginning of a long and illustrious Air Force career,” said Watson, “And the first EPR they sign is one of many stepping stones to get to the rank of chief master sergeant.”

Air Force Reserve Command mandated Senior Airmen EPRs in 2015 keeping in line with active duty requirements to rate Airman at every rank level. This March 31 Static Close Out Date for senior airmen is the second SCOD for that rank.

“EPRs keep reservists busy for NCOs and officers,” said Watson, “When they added EPRs for all senior airmen . . . well, then we knew we had a lot of work ahead of us.”

FSS Supervisors were instructed by Watson to begin work on senior airmen EPRs a few months ago with the goal to have reports signed by supervisors and ratees during April’s Unit Training Assembly.

“Supervisors and additional raters really came through,” said Watson, “The quality of each EPR and the senior airmen bullets was exceptional!”

The signing party began with a welcome by Watson and a keynote address by Chief Master Sgt. Veronica Lozoya, the 3F5X1 Base Functional Manager. Lozoya shared with the FSS Senior Airmen her own career path from senior airman to her promotion to chief master sergeant. She emphasized giving your current job your all and believing in yourself and your capabilities. She commended the senior airmen on this, their first EPR, and thanked the FSS leadership for the love, care, and respect they showed their young Airmen.

Col. David Garfield, the 482nd Fighter Wing Commander, stopped by the signing party to offer his support and talk to the Airmen as each was individually recognized after signing his or her EPR.

“This squadron really stepped up the game and made this seemingly mundane event, to sign your EPR, exciting for these Airmen. Talking with them today they are proud of their achievements and excited to be in the Air Force Reserve, Garfield said.”

Each Airman received a Dairy Queen Gift Certificate from the squadron officers and a framed feather to commemorate the event. The feather, respectfully presented by Garfield and Watson, is symbolic of the first achievement toward chief master sergeant and the eventual designation of “Chief” symbolized by the Native American headdress.

Senior Airman Ivan Castillo Ramirez, a food specialist in the Sustainment Services Flight shared that, “Sometimes we feel unappreciated or unseen, but to walk in and see the sign that ‘Chiefs are made here’ and see every officer and NCO clapping for us as we walked in was great! It real-ly raised morale and was much appreciated by all of us senior airmen.”