Fairchild Company Grade Officer Council revitalized

  • Published
  • By Capt. Jenn Hegedish
  • 509th Weapons Squadron
The Company Grade Officer Council is an Air Force-wide organization intended to give Company Grade Officers a network of peers through which to grow professionally, find volunteer opportunities and develop their own network of CGOs.

According to the Air Force CGOC website, the Air Force CGOC goal is "To develop and sustain an Air Force-wide CGO information network and hierarchy focused on professional development, base support, community service and esprit-de-corps; and advocating CGO officer issues and CGOC organizational status to senior USAF leaders."
The CGOC is comprised all the way up to Air Force-level leadership. CGOs who have been elected to their positions oversee CGOC matters across the whole service. The organization is broken down further into regions, with elected CGOs who monitor regional projects, awards packages and maintain contact information so the entire organization can communicate at all levels.

Since Fairchild's CGOC is a relatively young organization, our main focus has been on recruiting and building our numbers in membership so that we could be more successful in other endeavors such as professional development and base involvement. Building camaraderie will set the foundation for a strong network of young professionals.

Fairchild recently revitalized its CGOC after years of inactivity. Spearheaded by Capt. Dave Blomgren, who has permanently changed station, and Capt. John Toman, 92nd Air Refueling Wing judge advocate, Fairchild's CGOC was brought back to life in January 2011 with the support of wing leadership. Both Blomgren and Toman had learned through their legal training schools that getting active in their base's CGOCs was important for their success as lawyers.

I remember the same being said in my ROTC training: "there is no better way to network with your peers than to be involved with CGOC." The program has many benefits for young officers that can help them develop and grow in many directions. So they took the initiative and spread the word that elections would occur in order to set up a new council.
Having been privileged enough to serve as interim president for our organization, I can honestly say that I have found it to be a rewarding experience. Our CGOC may be new and small, but we were successful in bringing CGOs together who might have never met otherwise.

In order to recruit new officers, our Social Committee chair, Capt. Lisa Wotkowicz, has been instrumental in planning social activities that appealed to a variety of our members, such as baseball and hockey games, Hoopfest, wine and beer tastings and trivia at The Q at Northern Quest - which we won.

While promoting the social aspect was important, our Professional Development Committee chairs, Capt. Maribel Jarzabek and 2nd Lt. Tom Wickham, also organized a number of professional development events such as guest speakers from various squadrons around the base, and having some of our own CGOs plan briefings and tours of their own squadrons.

Finally, we also reached out to our base community as well as our local community in order to give back in some way. 1st Lt. Marcia Robinson led Fairchild CGOs to volunteer at a local soup kitchen, donate funds and manpower to the Combined Federal Campaign kick-off and provide assistance to a number of the enlisted professional organizations.

We certainly kept busy with lots of activities centered on building our presence on the base. Some of the results I have seen so far include; having various other organizations reach out to us asking to come speak at our next meeting; other organizations ask ing for assistance or donations to help with their projects; as well as CGOs using our network to exchange and pass down ranks, help with a personal project or just looking to meet new friends.

It is a success that we are having a second year of elections and I can only hope this bodes well for our organization. I believe our goals for this year will be similar in that we hope to continue to grow in membership so we can expand our activity.

We now pass on the torch to our new group of leaders; 2nd Lt. Nick Kim, president, 1st Lt. Trisden Wright, vice president, Capt. Allen Abrams, secretary and 1st Lt. Remington Barnes, treasurer.

So how do CGOs get involved in the CGOC? Simple, contact CGOC leadership or come out to one of our events.