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Junior Enlisted Advisory Council: Working for You!

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. --   Are you a new Airman at the 108th Wing or one who has been in the unit for some time? If you are between the ranks of airman basic and technical sergeant, come join the 108th Wing's Junior Enlisted Advisory Council!

  The JEAC is a council of Airmen, who represent the junior enlisted force from each unit within the Wing. It is a great opportunity to get involved with the Wing and get your voices heard!

  Every Saturday during the monthly unit training assembly, the council meets at 1 p.m., in the conference room located in Building 3331. The council meetings act as a forum to communicate with the Wing commander and are a great place to discuss any problems Airmen may be facing, such as promotion issues, problems in personal lives that relate to military life, and anything else on the Airmen's minds. "We're here to try to solve all of our problems within those ranks at the lowest level possible," said Senior Airman Misti Klesser, JEAC president. In addition, during the meeting, fundraising activities are planned, social events, and ways to boost morale.

  In attendance during the January UTA's meeting was Lt. Col. Steve Henske from the Inspector General's office. Henske went over the IG's duties, MICT, IG inspections, and Operational Readiness Inspections to help give the council members a better understanding of how the IG works. Jill Barrett, the psychological health director, will be present at the meeting during February's UTA to introduce herself to new members and discuss her role within the Wing.

  As a newly promoted chief master sergeant, Chief Master Sgt. Michael Balas was tasked to represent the JEAC to the Chief's Council. Balas was the senior council president for 19 years and is filled with experience and knowledge useful to the younger Airmen. "Any of your issues you may be going through, I've probably been through way back when," said Balas. "I keep in track with what you all are going through because my son is a senior airman."

  Also, Balas urged the council members to bring other Airmen from each of their squadrons to the meetings. He also explained that it is highly encouraged for Airmen to become members of the Enlisted Association National Guard of New Jersey because they are the ones who support the enlisted members and help with retirement issues.

  Balas praised the JEAC when he stated that "more ideas and more activities get accomplished coming from this council because you are willing to go out with the energy that you have and fresh ideas to get things done."

  Some of the accomplishments in 2014 for the JEAC were a fundraiser for their new coin and shirts designed specifically for the 108th Wing JEAC. The council also raised $5,000 for the Angel Tree program which was donated to the Mount Holly Children's Home! This was made possible by the council members passing along the information to their squadrons and 108th members participating by giving donations. The opening of the Texas Ave gate also began with the JEAC, making access to the Wing more efficient for its members. Great things are in store for 2015 along with more social events!

  The leadership of the JEAC consists of Senior Airman Misty Klesser, president, Senior Airman Mohammad Siddiqui, vice president, Airman 1st Class Michael DeBonis, secretary, and Senior Airman Kellyann Novak, treasurer. We highly encourage new members to join the council, attend meetings, and participate in our social events. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Klesser at misti.klesser@ang.af.mil. For information about the Enlisted Association National Guard of New Jersey, please visit their website at www.eang-nj.org.