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.


 
 

 
Courtesy graphic

Blowing away ashes

Courtesy graphic Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the U.S., yet more than 45 million Americans still smoke cigarettes. However, more than half of these smokers have atte...
 
 

Our quest for zero

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. – Day in, and day out, we try to keep up with the hustle and bustle of the Nellis AFB mission; from the airmen basic replacing a sink facet to a colonel flying a training sortie, we all have some part in fulfilling this mission. The question is, how safe...
 
 

Airmen Powered by Innovation program launches new site

WASHINGTON — Fellow Airmen, Your enthusiasm and ingenuity continues to be our Air Force’s number one weapon system! In April we launched the Airmen Powered by Innovation program aimed at turning your ideas into real cost savings for our Air Force. Since coming online API has received and reviewed more than 2,400 ideas and that...
 

 

Social well-being vital to Airman wellness

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — In order to accomplish the Air Force mission, and remain resilient to adversity, Airmen must maintain high levels of physical, mental, spiritual and social fitness. This quarter, the 99th Air Base Wing will focus on social fitness, by participating in events that focus on this Comprehensive Airmen Fitness pillar...
 
 

Fall safety tips

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — With cooler temperatures quickly approaching, there are things we all need to do to prepare ourselves, our families and our homes for the fall season. First of all, everyone should check and replace batteries in smoke detectors prior to turning on the heater, furnace, or using the fireplace for the first...
 
 

How did we lose this young Airman?

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio — She was an Airman Leadership School distinguished graduate, earned staff sergeant her first time testing, received all 5s on her enlisted performance reports and took part in two deployments. Clearly she was a high-performing Airman. But, in her words, the Air Force had made it clear it didn’t want...
 




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