Airmen in a league of their own

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Zachary Willis
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. –Five Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Airmen created a group to assist first-term Airmen who are at their first duty station, The League of Extraordinary Airmen.

The Leagues founders Senior Airmen Zachary Kern, Michael Russell, Matthew Higgs, Chase Flemming, and Airman 1st Class Chao Xiong AMXS Airmen comprised a group of junior enlisted Airmen from across McConnell Air Force Base who promote professional development, increase morale and create a sense of belonging. It aims to improve confidence within all squadrons and volunteer to help the surrounding community.

President of the League, Senior Airman Chase Flemming, 22nd AMXS integrated flight control systems journeyman, recognized low morale among some first-term Airmen at McConnell and wanted to create a group that would provide them with a sense of community.

“If I can make one other person feel better about their own lives, it makes my life feel fulfilled,” said Flemming.

Even before joining the U.S. Air Force, Flemming knew he wanted to help people. He has been able to accomplish this with his fellow team members’ help by volunteering with Airmen for the betterment of an Airmen.  

For example, Airmen from the League recently assisted with the Chapel Stocking by donating pie for the stockings to boost morale during the time of year when some Airmen are separated from their families. Along with similar events, the League helps Airmen with vehicle maintenance planning, gatherings, and volunteer opportunities weekly. 

Secretary of the League, Senior Airman Michael Russell 22nd AMXS Guidance control Journeyman, found his spark by making great friends that want to make a positive change at McConnell. 

“Since being part of the League, I’ve grown in myself and the Air Force,” said Michael Russell. “I’ve gotten [Below The Zone], selected for ROTC, and gained friends that are more like family. Without the League, I would be miles behind where I am now.” 

The group provided an opportunity for members to meet with Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, Air Mobility Command Commander, to discuss the League’s mission and the impact they have had thus far at McConnell. Van Ovost believes that these Airmen have the drive to make a genuine difference.

The League is currently working to establish itself as an official Air Force private organization, allowing them to expand their assistance to other bases to benefit all Airmen.

“We’re looking at tomorrow’s leaders,” said Flemming. “All the Airmen that come to the League have some kind of skill set that’s unique to them. We’re allowing them to grow into leaders that they want to become and be the change they want to see.”