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.


 
 

 

Ten seconds later, that picture still exists

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — There is a conversation many teenagers have had with their parents or friends, me included. “Hey, don’t worry! It’ll be fine; all of the pictures I send disappear after 10 seconds. That’s how Snapchat works.” While many teenagers only share their silly, cross-eyed, quadruple-chinned faces with friends, there are a...
 
 

Becoming stronger through failure

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. — Failing the Air Force physical training test was my greatest fear since joining the military. It is embarrassing to admit recently that fear came to fruition, but what I have learned through that failure has become one of my greatest strengths. After failing, I definitely felt like a weak...
 
 

Sexual assault survivor: ‘You are not alone’

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — I remember the day like it was yesterday. My heartbeat echoed in my head as I attempted to dry my sweaty hands on my jeans. I was 21 years old, sitting in a Korean court room, waiting to be questioned by prosecutors. How I ended up there was unreal. Just...
 

 

Everyone has a story to tell

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. —  We tend to believe that just because we haven’t won a Nobel Prize or survived a horrific event that our stories are not worth telling.  This notion is false; your story is worth telling. We often get caught up on other peoples’ stories, whether it is that of a famous...
 
 

Button your lip! Loose talk can cost lives

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — “Button your lip! Loose talk can cost lives,” was an operations security propaganda phrase used during World War II which still rings true today. It now goes beyond just buttoning your lips to include “zipping up” your social media sites. Safe web-browsing practices and OPSEC awareness are the best...
 
 

Aviation pioneer in Las Vegas

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — During World War II, aviation opportunities literally exploded as the military trained hundreds of thousands of individuals to fly, opening the door to many who might never have had the chance before. Among this group were women pilots, many of whom trained and flew as civil service pilots with...
 




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