Network 56: bridging the gap between enlisted ranks

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Shaleika Anderson
  • Health and Wellness Center
When you hear the name Network 56, what comes to mind? Many people would say it's an association, like Top 3, for active duty members in the ranks of E-5 and E-6. But is that really what Network 56 is all about? Not quite. Network 56 is an organization that serves as an internal resource for networking among staff sergeants and tech sergeants to expand upon our professional development as supervisors and mentors. However, we believe that enhancing our development is only one small portion of the pie. As supervisors and mentors, we have a duty to assist with the development of our Airmen. We are committed to providing our Airmen the tools needed for career building and personal well-being.

One of our newest accomplishments was creating a bimonthly "mentoring" seminar for Airmen. This seminar focuses on various topics to assist Airmen in building their careers. We hosted a seminar on March 28 discussing "enlisted performance reports: How can they affect your career?" It was a great success! The Airmen received a wealth of information from our speakers. Our next two "mentoring" seminars will be in May. The Airmen seminar will be held May 9, and the topic will be communication. The next NCO seminar will be held May 23, and the topic will be "life after the Air Force." We encourage people to attend. Tech. Sergeant Joe Nash, 319th Communications Squadron, is the point of contact for all seminars. Aside from the "mentoring" sessions, Network 56 also offers volunteer opportunities for both NCOs and Airmen. Recently, we have volunteered time at the Campbell library in East Grand Forks, Minn. We are currently looking into adopting a highway and volunteering to assist with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The organization is not just about all work and no play. We also try to do some fun things in a relaxing atmosphere to boost morale for all. We held a bowling tournament in January. It was a fun time for everyone that attended. The communications squadron team took home the prize with a total team score of 2280! The Chiefs' team came in close second with 2252! Even with all the fun going on, we were able to raise $100, which was donated to the American Cancer Society.

We recently held a volleyball tournament against the Top 3, in which they were beaten to a pulp by Network 56 members. It was all in fun, though. There will be more fun things to come.

The most important thing is that everyone understands there must be a balance between supervisor/mentor and those under them. That is what Network 56 is all about. We want to bridge the gap between enlisted tiers to continue producing outstanding leaders of tomorrow. It's all about having ONE TEAM! ONE FAMILY! ONE FIGHT!