Air Force

July 10, 2014

“Solicit help; don’t hide”

Senior Airman Camilla Elizeu
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Over the years, the term “Wingman” has evolved in the Air Force.

The traditional military definition of a Wingman refers to the pattern in which fighter jets fly. There is always a lead aircraft and another which flies off the right wing of and behind the lead. This second pilot is called the Wingman because he or she primarily protects the lead by “watching his back.”

In today’s Air Force, leaders have adapted the Wingman concept not only among pilots but for every Airman.

“It is important for us to be Wingmen because on an enterprise level it makes us a more effective fighting force,” said Chief Master Sgt. Kelly Downey, 355th Maintenance Group superintendent. “On a personal level it prevents unneeded pain, anguish, hardship, guilt and, in extreme cases, can prevent death.”

Now more than ever being a good Wingman is vital to continuing the Air Force mission. Airmen are forced to make serious life choices based on the ever-changing Air Force.

“With the force management going on right now, there has been a slight rise in domestic abuse and alcohol related incidents,” said Tech. Sgt. Travis Hennis, a 355th Security Force Squadron Operations Support non-commissioned officer. “The Air Force has a lot of programs that can help with the changes but when you’re telling someone that they may no longer have a job, it’s hard to stop them from reacting however they are going to react.

As with suicides, it can be very hard to tell who’s thinking about it, unless they come right out and say it. Often times people step in when someone is already in trouble.

“The best time to get involved is the day you receive notice of an inbound, or when you first meet a fellow Airman, whether you are the new person or they are,” Downey said. “It’s not when someone is already in trouble or has come seeking help. Though it’s never too late, it just isn’t as effective.”

When someone is distracted by life changes or work complications, it can begin a downward spiral, not only for them, but their co-workers as well.

“The investment in time dealing with negative issues grows exponentially. It’s not just the Airman involved, it’s the leadership. Team dynamics can be greatly affected losing efficiency, maybe even a loss of trust in one another or in supervision and possibly a breakdown in communication,” Downey said.

Downey explains when someone is in need of assistance at the last minute, it can be a force divider. The affects can ripple for a long time and take just as much time for the unit to recover.

“There is no joy to be found in any of your team members suffering through issues. On the other hand there is absolutely no better joy than to be ahead of the game helping folk’s clear hurdles, and then watching their careers and lives blossom into something great,” Downey said.

For some Airmen the hard part about being a good Wingman is getting over the feeling that they are prying.

“Embrace your fellow Airman and embrace the fact that you are a part of something big. Just like any family, you have your part to do even if that means extending the first hand or even hanging out with that “Uncle Fester” type character of the family. Usually he or she ends up being the most fun to hang with anyway,” Downey said.

Downey also expressed that being a Wingman is not just about watching out for your teammates, but it’s also about personal responsibility and keeping yourself straight too.

“You are not a very good wingman if you make conscious decisions you know to be wrong than can, and will, negatively impact the team,” Downey said. “No matter what troubles you, solicit help; don’t hide, it’s not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of intelligence seeking out the wisdom of others even if all you learn is what not to do.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

SNCOs: Contact AFPC to see if Course 14 completion is noted in records

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) — Senior NCOs recently notified by the Air University Barnes Center for Enlisted Education that their Senior NCO Academy Distance Learning Course 14 Version 6 “failed” exam scores have been corrected may want to review their records to ensure updates are complete. In late 2013, Air Education and Training...
 
 

Draft Supplemental EA open for public review and comment

The 355th Fighter Wing released the 563rd Rescue Group Personnel Recovery Supplemental Environmental Assessment today for public review and comment. A 30-day comment period follows the release of the document. The comment period will end Monday, May 4, 2015. The draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment (SEA) and draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) evaluates the...
 
 

Anything you can do I can do better

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Sibling rivalry has always challenged people to do things better, like run faster or jump higher. Two brothers have taken that competition to new heights to make the Air Force greater. “We have always competed to find out who was the best,” said Senior Airman Leonel DeJesus-Martinez, 57th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron...
 

 
AAFES_pict

Exchange rewards academic excellence with “You Made the Grade Program”

DALLAS — The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is rewarding military students who excel in the classroom with its You Made the Grade program, now in its 15th year. Students in first through 12th grades who maintain a B av...
 
 

$25K available in AF Club Scholarship Program

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas (AFNS) — The 2015 Air Force Club Scholarship Program is accepting applications through midnight CDT, May 1. Now in its 17th year, the program has provided almost $400,000 in college tuition assistance to more than 400 Air Force Club members and their families. This year, the program will award 40...
 
 
(Graphic courtesy of MilitaryPay.gov)

Eligible Airmen may choose retirement plan at 14 1/2-year mark

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) — The Air Force Personnel Center has developed an automatic notification process that sends a message directly to active-duty Air Force and headquarters Active Guard Reserve m...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin