On wingmanship

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Brett Collins
  • 81st Training Wing Command Post
I have in the past and recently been put in the position to positively change a friend's life. Difficult times and loneliness sometimes plague our members.

This is true in all branches of the military and I can attest to this, for I have served in both the Air Force and Marines, as well as been deployed with Army and Navy forces to combat environments. This can be even truer in the younger tiers that have not had as much time to develop the necessary resiliency to trudge through life's muddy and uphill days.

As a leader when the opportunity was presented to expand a work and personal relationship and to assist a friend in need, I hit the ground running. It was a time of action, not words.

When caring for a friend in need, you need to pull all the stops. It is necessary to do whatever possible to show them support--inviting them into your house for companionship and guidance or putting unnecessary work stressors to the back burner and taking on more of the work load. It is time to apply all the leadership traits.

JJDIDTIEBUCKLE: Justice, Judgment, Dependability, Integrity, Decisiveness, Tact, Initiative, Endurance, Bearing, Unselfishness, Courage, Knowledge, Loyalty, and Enthusiasm.

When applied correctly, all of these traits put leaders in the position to lead without question. But it takes a humble leader not to go too far, and being humble is the icing on the cake of a strong Air Force NCO and leader.

When a friend or family member is going through a difficult time, a person needs to be at their best. Certain situations should be turned into opportunities to change someone and guide them to a better position through all aspects including physical fitness, leadership, resiliency, and responsibility. That is the best way to invest in the strong future Air Force.

Dealing with adversity is part of life and as NCOs and wingmen, it is our job to assist in the development of the airman we are responsible for. We should not only show wingmanship in a time of crisis, but all day, every day. Building a relationship with every airman fosters professionalism as well as compassion for one another. Airmen today are the future NCO's, therefore, we need to focus on developing strong and compassionate leaders that will empower and develop the future enlisted force.

All in all, I learn more every day from the airman in my charge than I ever learn from leaders above me. They are constantly teaching me how to adjust and look at the big picture. Every airman is different and needs to be lead in a way that is specific to their personality. Remember sometimes it takes more courage to stand up and do what is right rather than do what is easy.