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Four groups work with one purpose

By Staff Sgt Beth Del Vecchio | 12th Flying Training Wing | Feb. 26, 2007

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas — Although there are four separate Top 3 organizations on Randolph, there is a common thread that runs throughout, to mentor and support the enlisted force and to make a difference in the community. 

The Air Education and Training Command, Air Force Personnel Center, Air Force Recruiting Service and 12th Flying Training Wing each have a Top 3 organization which works throughout the year toward similar goals. 

Master Sgt. Carla Townsend, AETC Top 3 publicity officer, said the Top 3 is a great opportunity for the top enlisted ranks to not only learn from one another, but it affords them the opportunity to volunteer in the community as a group. 

"Over the years we have helped with Habitat for Humanity, Adopt-a-Highway, the Special Olympics, Meals on Wheels and Operation Home Front," said Sergeant Townsend. 

Master Sgt. Christine Rizzo, AFPC Top 3 vice president, said that while the Personnel Center's Top 3 also enjoys working with various community organizations, she is most fond of the group's support of the junior enlisted force on base.

"We sponsored the enlisted picnic, hosted an annual miniature golf tournament with trophies and awards and hosted the AFPC Spring Fling," she said. "When we provide assistance to junior members we like to think "Total Force" and that includes our civilian junior force as well as our military." 

Chief Master Sgt. Jack De Forrest, AETC first sergeant, explained that Top 3 membership and participation helps Airmen to develop their greater potential. 

"Membership and participation in a Top 3 organization has always been optional, but active Top 3 members can gain the leadership and team building skills to everyone's benefit," he said. "Senior NCOs who know their jobs and how to lead Airmen in other areas also, are true force multipliers." 

Each Top 3 dedicates time to organizing and sponsoring annual and quarterly awards for people in their squadrons and units. When it's time for the Team Randolph annual award ceremony, the volunteer force is sprinkled with members of all of Team Randolph's Top 3s. 

Each Top 3 meets once a month in order to fulfill another purpose: to foster communication between the top three ranks in the enlisted force. 

"The best reason to be a part of the Top 3 is it provides a forum for its members to meet, share personal experiences and expertise," Sergeant Rizzo said. "It also functions as an added channel of communication between the commander and the enlisted members." 

Master Sgt. Dwight Compton, AETC Top 3 president, said his experience with the Top 3 has given him the opportunity to receive first-hand information from leadership on the direction of the Air Force as a whole and as a part of the joint task force. 

"Being able to directly communicate with the AETC commander, AETC first sergeant, members of the Chiefs' Group, Air Force Sergeants Association and servicing agencies from on and off base, during the monthly meetings, is a great benefit," he said. "From these meetings, I am better able to inform my subordinates on specific issues, or at least point them in the right direction."

"Everyone benefits from another good senior NCO who gets involved," Sergeant Compton said. "Remember, your subordinates and supervisors can volunteer to support the Top 3 Organization, even though they are not members. The bottom line is to get involved." 

Top 3 meetings usually last an hour and can provide camaraderie, esprit de corps and tools to become great leaders for tomorrow. Anyone carrying the rank of master sergeant or above can become a member of their organization's Top 3. 

For more information about Top 3 organizations, members can contact their first sergeant.