Top 3: Watch Your Wingman
By Master Sgt. Anthony Garver, 180th FW Vice President, Top 3 Council
/ Published October 08, 2008
November 2008 -- With the Aerospace Expeditionary Force rotation upon us, we have prepared our aircraft, equipment and people for this deployment. It is now time to focus on one of our most important assets; our people. Being a good Wingman during our deployment should be a top priority. As a supervisor, it is incumbent upon you to spot the first signs of trouble and it is you who are in the best position to listen and engage our Airmen. Supervisors must lead by example, but first get to know your people. Learn their dislikes, problems and frustrations. You cannot provide this type of leadership from behind a desk generating emails. It's personal. It's face-to-face. It's sincere and direct. With the inherent dangers that we face every deployment it is imperative that we foster this "Wingman Culture" throughout the deployment and bring everyone home safely. This culture depends on everyone demonstrating respect and appreciation for each other in our daily interactions. It affirms that each and every person is essential to our mission and our success. Each of us, regardless of rank, has a responsibility to be alert and to get involved and take action when it comes to safeguarding our Airmen; whether it be watching for signs of suicide, making sure protective gear is used, or just being there as someone to talk to about the stresses of the deployment and family separation. Engage your Airmen with activities off-duty such as a game of basketball at the gym or any other team building activity. As Senior NCOs, we bear the responsibility for the welfare of our greatest asset; our Airmen. I, for one, do not take that lightly and I challenge all of you to do the same.