Outstanding Human Resource Advisor
By Tech. Sgt. David Speicher, 175th Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 06, 2015
BALTIMORE -- Senior Master Sgt. Sterling Johnson, 175th Wing Human Resource Advisor, Maryland Air National Guard, was awarded the 2014 Air National Guard Outstanding Human Resource Advisor of the Year on January 29, 2015.
The National Guard Bureau looked for and found an advisor who promoted diversity, inclusion, cultural change and force management.
The Guard Bureau has requested that Johnson use the wing's program to enhance the other units in the Mid-Atlantic region.
"Now that we have the number one program, we will show these others wings what we do. My vision is to streamline CCAF (Community College of the Air Force) degrees at these other wings," said Johnson.
Johnson feels he was awarded for working closely with the Army National Guard and setting up new initiatives to enhance Airmen's careers. He organized practice interview boards and worked with the Baltimore Orioles for a wing event at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. He also coordinated retirement seminars and improved basic morale and welfare for the wing. He has worked hard for Airmen to use the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), which allows students to take an exam to demonstrate knowledge of a subject matter and with a passing score, receive credit without taking the class.
"The biggest thing I am proud of is CLEP testing and fast tracking wing members to their Community College of the Air Force degree," he said. "An associate degree will enhance not only our members' careers but also their personal lives outside the fence."
Johnson, who previously been the 175th Maintenance Squadron first sergeant, is in his fourth year in the job. He felt working as the HRA was the next level from being a first sergeant because it allows him to direct programs at the wing level. Even though he finds it logistically tough, he finds it "easy because of the love of the job."
Because of time restraints of a traditional guard drill weekend, he works with a lot of groups on base: the Chief's Council, First Sergeant Council, Junior Enlisted Council, student flight, retirees and mid-level NCOs.
"I am always looking for feedback to support all aspects of our wing members' needs," said Johnson. Johnson is proud of the wing's effort in professional military education. The 175th Wing is one of only four of the 92 wings in the Air National Guard hosting both an Airmen Leadership School and NCO Academy classes in the same year.
The program will not rest on its laurels and Johnson has plans for the future. Johnson wants to build a mentorship program targeting mid-level NCOs to increase their supervisory skills.
"I consider these individuals instrumental for the future of our Airmen," he said. "We want to create an environment of inclusion to enrich their self-confidence."