McConnell AFSA 972 brings home two awards from summit Published Aug. 30, 2023 By Staff Sgt. Tryphena Mayhugh 22nd Air Refueling Squadron Public Affairs MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- The local McConnell Air Force Sergeants Association Chapter 972 received two awards during the AFSA Summit Aug. 4-10 in Dallas, Texas. The chapter was awarded the 2022 Small Chapter of the Year for those under 500 members for the second year in a row. Their previous chapter president, Tech. Sgt. Liviu Bogdan, won AFSA Member of the Year, who is currently stationed in Honduras. Senior Master Sgt. Bruce Berglund, 344th Air Refueling Squadron senior enlisted leader and AFSA Chapter 972’s current president, attended the summit and received the awards in person. “It was a great feeling for me, I already knew that the team was high performing, this kind of solidified it,” Berglund said. “I was just grateful we could bring this win back for the chapter and to McConnell.” The chapter received the Presidential Volunteer Service Award and hosted monthly professional development seminars, as well as a seminar held 12 days in a row last December, aiding in their selection for the award. “[Technical] Sgt. Bogdan was the driving force behind the win,” Berglund said. “He was not only the AFSA Member of the Year but the member who drove the chapter out of Covid [operations]. To sum up what pushed the chapter to a win in my eyes is innovation and having the members and volunteers who care about the cause, themselves and others.” Chief Master Sgt. Laura Hoover, 22nd Air Refueling Wing command chief, was also in attendance at the summit. “I am so proud of our team’s back-to-back win of the Small Chapter of the Year,” Hoover said. “The team has fought for change in the Air Force and this accomplishment is a testament of their efforts.” With a current tally of 443 members and growing, the AFSA Chapter 972 strives to serve the enlisted corps and their families at McConnell, as well as advocating for local veteran’s rights and services. They give back to Airmen through their professional development seminars where they bring in guest speakers to teach Airmen about resiliency, leadership and job resumes. “Supporting our servicemembers, their families and our veteran’s quality of life and their benefits are the top priority,” Berglund said. “On top of that at the local level we are all about giving back to the base. The best thing about our organization is we have room to maneuver and explore different avenues. For instance, we just had a meeting with the local Air Force recruiting team on what we can do to assist with their goals.” The chapter is also involved with the local community by supporting a two-mile strip in front of the base on Rock Road through the adopt-a-highway program, and works with security contracts for volunteer opportunities downtown for concerts and events. The local chapter holds general membership meetings the second Thursday of each month and professional development seminars the third Thursday of each month at the Dole Center. “I would say that if you can find some time, go find one of us or show up to the Dole Center and see what you think,” Berglund said. “I’d be willing to bet you could not find an organization that is more diverse and getting after so many things at both the base and headquarters levels. If you cannot find a way to fill whatever void you need, I will give you a coin and say thanks for trying something new.” Berglund discovered AFSA late in his career, but has been a part of the chapter here for the last 18 months. “It has been an absolute honor to lead alongside the superstars of the 972,” he said. “I could not be prouder to be part of an organization that does so much for our servicemembers and their families both past and present. Being able to plan, organize and execute with members from every corner of the base has given me opportunities and perspective that I would have never received anywhere else. Go out, take chances, you never know who you will become.” Anyone interested in joining AFSA or would like to learn more can email the 972 at firstname.lastname@example.org.