Life as a first sergeant
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- While most jobs have normal office hours, a first sergeant works around the clock. When asked when his normal duty day starts, he laughed at the question.
"I don't have set hours; I don't come to work every day and sit in my office at 7:30 a.m.," said Senior Master Sergeant Joseph Krussick, 35th Logistics Readiness Squadron first sergeant.
A typical day for this first sergeant usually begins around 5 a.m., when his alarm clock somehow convinces him to get out of bed. Once he's up and ready to go, he heads to the gym to start his morning workout.
"I typically go to the gym before whatever is going on that day, even on squadron physical training days," said Krussick. "I will typically go and work out on my own first because I want to be able to help push people during PT. If I get a good workout in first then I've already taken care of myself, and I can focus on helping push other 35 LRS Airmen."
After PT he attends any morning meetings he has, takes his children to school whenever he has the chance and then heads to the office to begin his work day. He walks through his office door and barely has a chance to get settled when Airmen start coming to his door and his phone starts ringing.
"I don't have an exact list of things I do every day," said Krussick. "Every day can be different and challenging."
Some of the challenges that he faced recently were visiting an Airman in confinement, dealing with emergency leave issues and out-processing an Airman that was getting discharged.
"The worst thing about being a first sergeant is when you realize that no matter how hard you try, you just can't help somebody," said Krussick. "Whether it's because you're going to end up kicking them out of the Air Force or they're just going to continue to make bad decisions. Sometimes it feels like you care more about their career than they do."
Though his job as a first sergeant is quite hectic, he still makes time to go around his squadron and see his Airmen -- all 235 of them.
"I wish I could see the faces of all the Airmen in the 35 LRS every single day," said Krussick. "Unfortunately, it doesn't quite happen like that. From the moment I got here this morning there's been a line outside of my door, but I typically try to get out of my office once every couple of days to walk through the entire unit and see everybody."
Every day may not be the same in terms of being a first sergeant, it could be good news or it could be bad.
"I chose to become a first sergeant because I wanted to let people know that we really do care about each and every Airman that comes in the door," said Krussick. "I wanted to make sure that if someone reached out or needed a hand, they got the help they needed. I wanted to be the person that provides that help. I may not have all the answers, but I promise you I know a lot of smart people that can get me those answers and get me that assistance so I can take better care of my Airmen."
Regardless of the situation, Krussick is prepared to be the best first sergeant he can be.
"I just can't put into words what I do every day with the exception of this: I do whatever I can to support my commander and to support every Airman in the 35th Logistics Readiness Squadron. If I'm doing those things then I'm doing my job," said Krussick.