Sergeants Association strives to support troops

By Airman Elliott Sprehe: 27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE — If you’re looking to join an organization that works to get pay raises or addresses matters that affect the entire enlisted force, then the Air Force Sergeants Association (AFSA) offers what you need.

AFSA, with a combined total of more than 150,000 enlisted members, provides a variety of services for Airmen and goes before Congress to help battle for enlisted needs as well.

“It’s an organization that fights for enlisted rights,” said Senior Master Sgt. Troy Gilliard, 27th Special Operations Security Forces Squadron, who serves as Cannon’s AFSA president.

“We have lobbyists that will go before Congress and lobby for enlisted rights,” said Gilliard.

Some of those issues supported by AFSA, headquartered in Maryland, include tax exemptions for child care expenses, pay increases and enhancing financial education initiatives for airmen and their families.

Membership with AFSA is not limited to NCOs. All airmen may join because they are the future of the Air Force, said Sergeant Gilliard. Every airman’s input is important.

Though there are similar organizations that fight for the other branches of the military, AFSA devotes its time and resources entirely to the Air Force, said Gilliard.

They’re all great organizations, said Gilliard, but they each have their own functions.

A membership fee allows airmen to receive current updates on AFSA as well as a subscription to Sergeant’s Magazine.

Airmen can also opt to pay a lifetime fee that allows them to be enrolled until retirement and beyond.

Airmen from E-1 to E-4 pay a fee of $18 for 18 months while NCOs pay $25 per year. There are also memberships of two and three years, as well as lifetime, which each having different fees.

The Cannon AFSA meetings are generally every third Thursday of each month at either the Landing or the Professional Enhancement Center located above the End Zone.

Airmen interested in more information on AFSA can contact Sergeant Gilliard at 784-6116 or go to the official Web site at www.afsahq.org.

They can also attend the next scheduled meeting at 11:30 a.m. Nov. 15, tentatively scheduled to take place at The Landing.