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152nd Airlift Wing holds first Leadership Summit

Airmen and Soldiers of the Nevada Air and Army National Guard stop and pose for a photo with Gen. Joseph Lengyel at the first ever 152nd Airlift Wing Leadership Summit on March 3 at the Nevada Air National Guard Base in Reno.

Airmen and Soldiers of the Nevada Air and Army National Guard stop and pose for a photo with Gen. Joseph Lengyel at the first ever 152nd Airlift Wing Leadership Summit on March 3 at the Nevada Air National Guard Base in Reno.

Reno, Nev. -- When Gen. Joseph Lengyel visited the Nevada Air National Guard Base in Reno on March 3, he did something he admitted was one of the most important things he does as chief of the National Guard — talk about the importance of leadership.

“I think anytime I get the opportunity to come and participate in the development of our future leaders of the National Guard, it’s probably one of the most important things I do,” Lengyel said.
 
“We fight wars. We defend the homeland. We build partnerships,” Legyel said. “That’s my message, and I can’t do any of that without the people here in the National Guard to do it. That’s why the focus on leadership development, having people that are experts in warfight, homeland, developing partnerships and growing our people is so very, very important.”

The Nevada National Guard’s first-ever Leadership Summit at the base here included military and civilian speakers talking on the importance of leadership, including Lengyel, who visited the base for the first time since becoming chief of the National Guard in 2016. 

The Summit was a good opportunity for leadership both at the base and state level to give back to the High Rollers, said Chief Master Sgt. James P. Warner assigned to the 152nd Maintenance Squadron.  It shows the Airmen that the leaders are listening, and there is a path for them to grow into leaders.

“Without leadership, you lose everything, especially in the military,” Warner said.  “We have to have leadership to go forward, we need someone to drive the bus, to get the message across, to get us to where we need to be.”

Warner, a 34-year veteran of the Nevada Air National Guard said in the past it was up to the Airmen to find mentors.  Mentors were there but there was no formal program to help.

“It’s important to allow the Airmen to see there is a path to help them get to where they want to be later in their careers,” said Warner.

Today, the Nevada Air National Guard is building future leaders by sponsoring events such as the Leadership Summit, offering a mentorship program, and having enlisted performance reports, he said.

Speakers included Nevada football head coach Jay Norvell, Western Nevada Supply owner Rick Reviglio, University of Nevada, Reno professors Bill Kuechler and Yvonne Stedham, and performance coach Stephen Robinson.

 “I certainly hope this program continues,” Warner said.  “I thought the information was great, the message was on point.  Having a four star general to speak to the Nevada Air National Guard was impressive.”

Having top military leaders speak to Airmen helps develop the future leadership for the Air National Guard, said Warner.

Staff Sgt. Nicole C. Munley a recruiter assigned to the Nevada Air National Guard, said events like the Leadership Summit help shape the future of the Nevada Air National Guard.  Events like this train and empower High Rollers to embrace that future, said Munley.

Hearing the civilian speakers offered a different perspective on leadership, Munley said. 

“I really liked Rick Reviglio’s presentation,” said Munley. “Hearing the civilian aspect of leadership was cool, and seeing him pumped up about leadership was inspiring.”