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Rising Six Council looks forward to a busy year

Officers for the 167th Airlift Wing’s Rising Six Council, left to right, Tech. Sgt. Geoffrey Blankenship, Tech. Sgt. Jacob Bixler, Staff Sgt. Kayla Hoffmaster and Tech. Sgt. Jessica Hughes, discuss some of their ideas for the council this year. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle)

Officers for the 167th Airlift Wing’s Rising Six Council, left to right, Tech. Sgt. Geoffrey Blankenship, Tech. Sgt. Jacob Bixler, Staff Sgt. Kayla Hoffmaster and Tech. Sgt. Jessica Hughes, discuss some of their ideas for the council this year. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle)

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. --

The 167th Airlift Wing’s Rising Six Council is working on some big ideas and the council’s officers encourage all Airmen, E-1 to E-6, to get involved and join in the fun.

“We want to reach out not just to the wing, but to the entire community and we want to incorporate our families,” said Staff Sgt. Kalyla Hoffmaster, president of the Rising Six Council and a personnelist for the 167th Mission Support Group commander support staff.

Tech. Sgt. Geoffrey Blankenship, the treasurer for the Rising Six Council and chaplain’s assistant for the 167th Chaplain’s Corp, agreed.

“We want to build a community here,” he said.

The Rising Six Council serves the junior enlisted at the wing and the entire unit in a number of ways.

First, the council is a conduit for information to and from wing leadership.

“We are here to bring Airmen’s issues to leadership,” Hoffmaster said.

Tech. Sgt. Jacob Bixler, the Rising Six Council’s vice president and information technology specialist for the 167th Communications Flight, said if an issue is impacting particular Airmen it’s likely to be an issue around the wing.

The council has direct lines of communication with wing leadership and also with state leadership through their ties to the West Virginia Enlisted Association.

The council’s officers encourage Airmen to use their chain of command first but also to know that the council is an option to get their voice heard, as well.

The Rising Six Council is also a great way to get to know other Airmen around the wing and build camaraderie.

Tech. Sgt. Jessica Hughes, the training manager for the 167th Maintenance Group, joined the wing from Mississippi. She said her chief encouraged her to join the Rising Six Council to meet new people and get involved. She is now serving as the council’s secretary and planning a number of upcoming events for the council, including a movie night later this year.

Not only does the council host events such as their combat dining in last summer, but they also partner with other groups on base, such as the Family Readiness Group, for various functions, Bixler said.

The Rising Six Council also serves Airmen by offering mentorship.

Chief Master Sgt. Todd Kirkwood, the superintendent for the 167th Maintenance Group and the 167th AW Chief’s Council president, attended the Rising Six Council meeting in January offering the assistance of the Chief’s Council to the Rising Six Council.

“We are hoping to provide an added resource in helping them achieve their goals,” Kirkwood said.

The council’s officers all agreed that they hope to keep building on their past successes and they are encouraged by the growing number of Airmen that are attending the meetings on a regular basis.

 “We’re hoping by the end of the year that we can have a representative from each squadron so everyone feels represented,” said Hoffmaster.

The council leadership encourages anyone within the ranks of E-1 to E-6 to attend their monthly meetings. Keep an eye on your inbox for an email with the next meeting date, time and location.