Commentary

November 27, 2013

First Sergeant explains wingman concept

Master Sgt. Brandy Walker
99th Civil Engineer Squadron first sergeant

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — I would be hard pressed to find anyone, myself included, that at one point or another hasn’t gone down the wrong path.

Maybe it was walking on the edge of breaking the law or flat out breaking it. Maybe it was financial troubles, sexual misconduct, drinking too much, relationship issues, work performance slipping, not always doing the right thing when no one is looking, the list is long.

During these moments our egos and denial tend to set in. We rationalize what we are doing and become less aware of how serious it might be.

However, we are really good at spotting problems in others because we are looking from the outside in and not attached emotionally to the issue. This is where you can be a stellar wingman.

Don’t feel hypocritical about saying something to one in trouble that might be doing the same thing you’ve done in the past. Whether or not you got caught or the problem worsened; you learned from it and you can help others. The one you are watching go through something destructive may not recover as you did without intervention.

If you care about your friends, coworkers or even a stranger wearing the uniform; if you care about what happens to us in our Air Force, then you will have the courage to say something.

I have seen troops throw themselves in front of another in danger during war, pull a trigger without thought and defend their crew to no end.

However, I have also spoken to friends of a member that committed suicide. Filled with guilt and sadness, they said they knew something was wrong and did nothing out of fear of losing them as a friend.

Now they are gone.

I have seen others allow people go down that wrong path and when questioned they say, “I use to do it, didn’t think it was a big deal” or “he’s a cool guy and thought he’d be fine” or “he’s grown, he knows what he’s doing.”

Refer all of that back to the ego part of this. We don’t always see what we are doing to ourselves in the moment. We are so quick to literally take a bullet for one another but lack the bravery to risk hurt feelings trying to keep others from ruining their lives or careers.

No more excuses; what you do for others will come around during your moments of blindness to your own destruction.

A great wingman ignores most of the “what ifs” that pertain to themselves and instead focus on the “what ifs” that could happen to an individual if they don’t say something, or do something.
That, my friends, is a wingman according to Master Sgt. Brandy Walker.




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


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis

Red Flag offers B-52 crews training that ‘can’t be beat’

U.S. Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis A B-52 Stratofortress assigned to the 69th Bomb Squadon, Minot Air Force Base, N.D., taxis for take off during Red Flag 15-3 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., July 15. T...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle

‘Thunder’ rolls at Fort Irwin

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle Airmen assigned to the 22nd Special Tactics Squadron, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., look on as an A-10 Thunderbolt II departs from the National Training Center at Fort I...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Alex R. Lloyd

Hill activates their first F-35 fighter squadron

U.S. Air Force photo by Alex R. Lloyd Lt. Col. George R. Watkins addresses the audience and squadron members during the 34th Fighter Squadron activation ceremony July 17 at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The 34th FS will be the fir...
 

 

Nellis celebrates successful Vacation Bible School

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — The Nellis Chapel has done it again with the 18th and best year of Vacation Bible School ever. This year’s theme of Science, provided by Gospel Light’s Son Sparks Labs, proved to be engaging and fun for all 192 children and volunteers. Discovering the light of God in a...
 
 

The unseen leader

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho — Over the years, I’ve seen many leaders come and go. The ones I admired, I took note of the traits I wished I had, as well as the ones I already possessed. It took me a long time to realize some of my personal and professional weaknesses were...
 
 

Donald Rumsfeld visits Nellis

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Kleinholz Former United States Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld interacts with a service member during a book signing and meet-and-greet at the Base Exchange, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., July 16, 2015. Rumsfeld is the youngest and oldest individual ever to sit in the Defense Secretary position,...
 




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>