New first sergeant eager to get involved

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Clinton Atkins
  • 66th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
"The first sergeant must ensure the enlisted force understands the commander's policies, goals, and objectives and support agencies are responsive to needs of unit personnel. Additionally, the first sergeant must remain vigilant for, and move to resolve,
issues that, left unchecked, would adversely impact troop readiness." 

That overview from Air Force Instruction 36-2113, paragraph 1.1, Roles and responsibilities of the First Sergeant, explains how the duties of the first sergeant are many and complex. One new member of the Hanscom team is willing to take on the challenge. 

Though his duty title states that he is assigned to the 66th Mission Support Squadron, Senior Master Sgt. Raul Ruiz is the new first sergeant for all Hanscom enlisted personnel with the exception of 66th Medical Group and 66th Security Forces Squadron
personnel, who already have first sergeants. 

After spending 17 years as an inventory management specialist, Sergeant Ruiz volunteered to become a first sergeant nearly five years ago. "I volunteered to become a first sergeant to do all I could to support Airmen and the Air Force mission," Sergeant Ruiz said. 

His experience with first sergeant duties began at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., with the 9th Munitions Squadron. This assignment was followed by first sergeant assignments
with the 9th Civil Engineering Squadron at Beale AFB; the 39th Medical Group at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey; and the 39th Security Forces Squadron also at Incirlik AB. 

His motivation for being a first sergeant is clear. "I care about the Air Force, I care about
people and that is what it's about -- it's focusing on the mission and assisting the people. The Air Force, its mission and its people are important -- that's why I do it." 

Sergeant Ruiz has been at Hanscom a little more than a month, and is excited about
his new assignment. "I love it here so far," he said, "The facilities and the people here are great, and the mission is very exciting." 

Coming from Incirlik AB, he made Hanscom his number one choice on his Base of Preference list. Though the native- Californian is separated by almost 3,000 miles from where he calls home, he said he wanted to move to Hanscom because of the area's many historical places of interest, "This is where we, as a nation, were born." 

"I also thought it could be a great place to raise kids and experience the Northeast,"
he said. 

What he believes the Northeast will provide for him and his wife and four children is what he plans to provide for his Airmen -- a good environment.

"My goal here is to support all levels of command and foster a proactive environment,
encourage people to get involved with their wing and the Air Force. I hope to get to
know as many people as I can within all of the wings," Sergeant Ruiz said. 

In the process of striving toward his goals, he hopes his love of being a first sergeant will rub off on senior noncommissioned officers during his time at Hanscom. "I hope to find a couple of prospective first sergeants and convince them to join the career field," he said. 

Sergeant Ruiz uses many mottos, but there is one he echoes louder than any, "Actions speak louder than words." As a first sergeant, he said he will do just that. 

"We need to lead by example. Shirts are leaders by setting the example for others to
follow, not just because we wear the diamond," he said. 

As a seasoned first shirt, Sergeant Ruiz is well aware of the lackluster effect the everyday routine can have on an Airman. "I think many Airmen get stuck going
through their everyday routines without truly caring or lack of enthusiasm," he said. 

"We must all commit to our mission and responsibilities and bring our best effort." He explained his bottom line: "I work for the Airmen -- not the other way around. If an
Airman needs help, I will help them solve their own problem -- that's my job. 

"I want to make sure everyone is treated with respect and also [want to] help to keep
the troops motivated."