Commentary

August 10, 2012

Leadership necessary for Airman morale in 21st century

by Staff Sgt. Andrew Coddington
Focus 56 president

It is our duty as NCOs to ensure that we maintain high morale in ourselves and our Airmen. While we as a force have already seen a decrease in manning, with more cuts to be seen in the future, it will become more important than ever to keep a high sense of morale within our ranks for continued success.

We all know at some point how our specific Air Force specialties fit into the larger picture of the Air Force mission. Unfortunately, within the first few years of service, many of us forget that sense of purpose and become complacent. We as NCOs must be able to recognize how we, as well as our Airmen, individually fit into the mission so that we may keep the sense of purpose that we all felt when we first joined. This will become even more important as drawbacks continue, as we and our Airmen will be required to take on more responsibility so that the Air Force mission can continue with minimal interference.

One of the primary duties of NCOs is to ensure all standards are met. This is something we cannot do halfway. If we do not hold all of our Airmen to the same standard, it will adversely affect unit cohesiveness and morale. Additionally, we must let our Airmen know when they have performed well if we expect them to continue performing well.

If our Airmen consistently do excellent work, we must be sure to reward them. Remember, positive reinforcement will give us better Airmen in the long run. Also, when was the last time you told one of your Airmen thank you for all their hard work? That simple courtesy can go a long way toward letting our Airmen know what they do matters. This goes back to the concept of positive reinforcement. We cannot neglect to let our Airmen know they are appreciated for what they do.

Only through solid leadership will we be able to ensure a high state of morale within the Air Force in the face of the coming adversity. We as NCOs will be on the front line of this issue and must stand ready.




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