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Junior Enlisted Council gaining altitude

Senior Airman Miles Dodge, left, participates in the Junior Enlisted Council meeting taking place on Nov. 8, 2014, Portland Air National Guard Base, Ore. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Brandon Boyd)

Senior Airman Miles Dodge, left, participates in the Junior Enlisted Council meeting taking place on Nov. 8, 2014, Portland Air National Guard Base, Ore. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Brandon Boyd)

PORTLAND AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ore. -- Airmen from across the base came together November 8, 2014 for a meeting of the Junior Enlisted Council, a group focused on professional development, morale and welfare for the junior enlisted ranks.

Recent attendance for the meeting has been up after some outreach efforts, according to Sergeant-at-arms Tech. Sgt. Andrew Kondor, but council members encouraged all technical sergeants and below to get involved.

"We want the junior enlisted to take leadership roles, to take ownership for their own wing and to gain knowledge from other wing members," said Kondor.

Outgoing Junior Enlisted Council President Staff Sgt. Toni Dripps said the most rewarding aspect of the council is watching young airmen put forth good ideas and to pursue them into action.

Staff Sgt. Matthew Meartz shared some council accomplishments in the October meeting, including a $1,000 scholarship awarded to a young airman on base, funded by the council's efforts.

The council started planning efforts for the upcoming wing holiday party, which will take place during the December Unit Training Assembly (UTA).

In the previous meeting, three open council positions were announced, including roles for a treasurer, secretary and sergeant-at-arms. These spots were filled in November and a vacancy for the council president seat was announced by Vice President Tech. Sgt. Brent Neibert.

After announcing the open president position, Neibert said that the role would require a lot of work but that it could have an impact on furthering the career and experience of the new leader.

Applicants were encouraged to email council officers with nominations before Dec. 7, 2014.