Commentary

October 11, 2013

Lead from the front

Master Sgt. CHRISTINE WAGNER
607th Air Control Squadron

As a senior NCO, I often wonder if we are grooming our Airmen for success. Are we grooming NCOs to be responsible, to take seriously our core values, embrace them as we should so they become the future senior NCOs we need them to be? Are we grooming our Airmen to know that sometimes the right thing isn’t always the easy thing and molding them to be the NCOs we need them to be?

Are we requiring and allowing our NCOs to mentor our Airmen as well. The same question could be posed of the officer corps. Sometimes I wonder, are we collectively focusing on just trying to make that next rank and not thinking of the Air Force needs first?

I say every one of us, as Airmen, might want to take a step back and ask ourselves, if I never teach that junior person how to do the things I do, how am I helping them grow? If I never bring them in on the decision making process and help them understand why we are taking the route we are, will they know what to do when I am gone? I say this not only from a first sergeant’s perspective but from a supervisory viewpoint.

One of my fondest memories from Airman Leadership School is a quote from one of the instructors. He said, “If you are indispensable, then you as a future NCO aren’t doing your job right.” I took that to heart, and when I was finally blessed with the responsibility of caring for my entire flight I took that very seriously. I made sure my NCOs knew their jobs, and once they were ready for new information, I showed them the things I did. Now at that level, did they need to know that? Not necessarily but did I prepare them for the next step in their careers so it wasn’t quite so scary and they understood why it was being done? Yes, absolutely and I say that with no hesitation.

I realized I was somehow on the right track when one day I was hurt, and I couldn’t go into work. I didn’t for a minute worry about that shop because I knew my NCOs were not only capable but were highly trained to do the job without me. They managed the Airmen, provided effective leadership and held them accountable when necessary.

Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a worrier, so for me to feel that way was really great. The Air Force will and must carry on without each of us at some point. If we aren’t teaching our junior ranking members our jobs then we aren’t doing our ultimate job, which is to groom leaders. If you aren’t doing these things currently, I encourage you to start and keep it up. The Air Force and our country need it.




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


 
 

 

How do you stack up?

With upcoming changes to the enlisted performance report and Air Force promotion system, it’s important to understand how you stack up against your peers, not only within your job, but within your unit as well. The days of receiving time in grade and time in service points are numbered. They are being replaced with a...
 
 

CCAF offers jump on education

The Community College of the Air Force was established in 1972 to recognize academic achievements for technical training by Air Force schools. It awards an associate in applied science degree to enlisted members of the active-duty Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command who have completed the course work. Degree programs are...
 
 

Chaplain’s thoughts …

“You can’t gain weight, unless you overeat!” This gem of a quote from dear old dad is just one of many homespun lines of paternal wisdom that marked my childhood. My dad left little doubt about his opinions, which of course is the stuff that I dreaded as a child, yet qualitatively appreciate as an...
 

 

Fly Over: ‘Ant-Man’ and ‘Terminator Genisys’

‘Ant-Man’ The long-awaited movie so many of my friends were skeptical about has finally arrived. “Ant-Man” is by far one of the most hilarious and awesome movies “Marvel” has released. In a way it is an origin piece, but don’t let this deter you from seeing it. In the movie, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is...
 
 

This week in history

1965: Project Skoshi Tiger The 4503rd Tactical Fighter Squadron (Provisional F-5 Evaluation Squadron No. 1) activated 50 years ago to conduct the operational testing of the F-5A, known as Project Skoshi Tiger. In the late 1950s, most countries lacked the money for enough frontline jet fighters to defend themselves. Therefore, they often bought older, cheaper,...
 
 

Apply 6S for leadership success

Over the last 20 years of my Air Force career, there seems to have always been a common theme regarding our resources: reductions, reductions and more reductions. Some of the cutbacks to our resources have included less money in our annual budgets, fewer aircraft added to our inventory and fewer personnel added to our overall...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>