Leadership Ideas, Information and News

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Face of Defense: Technical Expertise Helps Marine as Leader

By Marine Corps Cpl. Melissa Wenger
3rd Marine Aircraft Wing

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif., Aug. 29, 2013 – Sgt. Nicholas Lang, a senior intelligence analyst with the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing here, prides himself on understanding the proper mentorship style he needs to use with each individual Marine in his charge.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Marine Corps Sgt. Nicholas Lang delivers a speech thanking the San Diego Chamber of Commerce during the August evening colors ceremony at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Aug. 6, 2013. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Melissa Wenger

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
“It’s more about treating everybody with respect and dignity, setting that example and leading … rather being the one who’s always out there with hands on his hips and yelling,” the Tacoma, Wash., native said.

Lang said he molds and guides Marines by treating them like adults so they can be given the opportunity to grow within the job and the Marine Corps.

“I like that he gives direction, but he’s not the type of [noncommissioned officer] to micromanage,” said Marine Corps Cpl. Angie Galvez, an intelligence specialist with 3rd MAW and a Miami native. “That lets me know he has faith in me, which makes me want to not mess up. I don’t [want to] take away the confidence he has in me.”

Lang said he knows the continuous collection of knowledge is essential not only for the lower enlisted ranks, but also for every position in the Marine Corps. To improve himself both as an NCO and as an intelligence analyst, he added, he continues to study the most up-to-date information about his specialty so he can answer the questions of his peers and subordinates.

“Let’s say I have to look up a side topic,” Galvez said. “He’ll know so much about that topic that I’m like, ‘How in the world does he know this much?’” Galvez said. “Just because he’s the leader of that squad that takes care of things that are going on in the Middle East doesn’t mean he’s going to have tunnel vision. He says, ‘OK, I’m going to look at everything going on around the world to make sure that I know [a bit of] everything.”

That technical expertise allows him to lead from the front, all the while mentoring his colleagues, Lang said.

“Treating everybody with respect seems to be a good way to get people to do what you need them to do, especially when they see you there with them down in the weeds,” he added. “You get a lot of respect back from the Marines.”

Lang gives briefings in the course of his duties, and used that experience as the reviewing officer for the August evening colors ceremony aboard here, delivering a speech.

“Knowing briefing skills helped out a lot with standing up in front of everybody,” he said.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Buckley introduces speed mentoring program

by Airman 1st Class Riley Johnson
460th Space Wing Public Affairs

8/21/2013 - BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Air Force master sergeants seeking mentorship sat down with several chief master sergeants at Buckley's first ever speed mentoring event Aug. 15, at the Buckley Leadership Development Center.

The 14 mentors and mentees discussed a variety of career-development topics during the mentoring session. Each master sergeant was allotted a five to seven minute one-on-one session with each mentor during the event. During those sessions, some of the topics included personal and professional development, special duties, promotion, and leadership.

"Most of the discussions I had were about how to be a better leader and how to hit the right marks to progress your career," said Master Sgt. Heather Morales, 566th Intelligence Squadron.

The mentoring session was a test run, with more speed mentoring opportunities expected to be organized for airmen, NCOs and senior NCOs.

"Speed mentoring is where you take quick, individualized mentoring sessions and you get a perspective from a senior leader on where to go with your career," said Master Sgt. Katie Neeley, the event coordinator.

Although speed mentoring is a new concept for Buckley, the idea has been tried at other bases.

"I participated in speed mentoring at my previous base. When I got here, I brought the concept up to the Top Three organization; they liked it and we went with it," Neeley said.

The event provided master sergeants the opportunity to speak with chiefs from a variety of career fields. The chiefs represented a blend of components that included active-duty, Guard and Reserve.

"I think this is great for mentorship, especially to us chiefs; it's our obligation to mentor the next group of Airmen," said Chief Master Sgt. Danny Doucette, Air Reserve Personnel Center, and one of the several mentors. "There is a lot of young new talent coming up and I'm very impressed with it."

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

NCOs show up in mass for leadership breakfast

by Staff Sgt. Julius Delos Reyes
50th Space Wing Public Affairs

8/15/2013 - SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Schriever staff and technical sergeants flocked to the Satellite Dish Dining Facility Aug. 13 for the 50th Space Wing leadership and NCO breakfast.

The breakfast event was designed to facilitate discussion between wing leadership and NCOs about current Air Force and Schriever issues.

This is the first NCO breakfast meeting for Col. Bill Liquori, 50 SW commander, since assuming command of the wing and the largest turnout among Airmen's groups.

Col. Bill Rittershaus, 50 SW vice commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Lavon Coles, 50 SW command chief, also attended the event.

"Each of you should realize at this point that you are our frontline in the leadership trenches," Liquori said. "You are the first person the Airmen look up to for guidance, mentorship, support and resources. Without you, everything breaks down. We need you to learn your Airmen's stories."

Liquori encouraged the NCOs to set the standard and help their Airmen learn about the Air Force.

"The Airmen are looking up to you as they're coming out of basic training and beginning to learn more about what it is to be an Airman," Liquori said. "Set the example and put another generation of Airmen on the right path to success in their Air Force career."

Liquori opened the discussion by noting current issues facing the Air Force.

"People ask me what's the toughest thing since I've been here, it's the budget," Liquori said. "The budget situation is tight. We're making tradeoffs and sacrifices every day, and I certainly see that firsthand. What we are trying to do is make sure we are telling the wing's story to the chain at 14th Air Force and Air Force Space Command."

Liquori also asked the NCOs' help in eliminating sexual assault as it is one of the big topics in the Air Force today.

"I need each and every one of you to join us in kicking this to the curb," he said. "It's not acceptable; it is not professional; it violates trust; it violates dignity; and it violates respect. Nobody wants to work in an environment where that happens. It takes all of us to recognize that it is not OK to do it; it is not OK to condone it; and it is not OK to turn the other way."

As part of the meeting, NCOs also asked Liquori and Coles questions about promotion, mentorship and other personnel issues.

"I am trying to get to know you to see how I can help you grow personally and professionally," Coles said. "For the mentorship aspect, it is this environment (the breakfast with leadership) that we're going to get our big money; it's getting involved with the 5/6. We're given these stripes as noncommissioned officers for a reason: to get out and lead."

At the closing of the breakfast, Liquori thanked the NCOs for participating in the event and spending time with leadership.

"Thank you very much for coming out," Liquori said. "It's the best turnout we've had. It is a good opportunity for us to hear a little bit about what's going in the trenches. Thank you for all the questions."

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Dodging stressors, building resiliency

by Staff Sgt. N.B.
432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

8/15/2013 - LAS VEGAS, Nev. --  -- The Hunters are building their "wingman" culture one strike, single and home run at a time.

The 432nd Wing, 432nd Air Expeditionary Wing held a dodge ball tournament at Creech Air Force Base, Nev., to kickoff the quarterly Comprehensive Airmen Fitness day on Aug. 9. The tournament's purpose was to provide an opportunity to help Airmen think outside the box when it comes to CAF days.

"CAF day is a combined day of safety, training and resiliency," said the Command Chief of the 432nd WG, 432nd AEW Chief Master Sgt. Butch Brien. "It's about getting together as a team, breaking away from the normal 'safety day' and really looking at the big picture to help our Airmen."

The tournament included 130 Airmen broken into 13 teams. Teams were encouraged to dress in costumes, develop chants and have fun.

"It was a good morale booster for Airmen to come together and play a fun game of dodge ball," said Airman 1st Class Andrew, 432nd WG, 432nd AEW knowledge operations specialist. "It was awesome seeing the wing commander all dressed up and having fun with his Airmen."

Smaller breakouts at the squadron level will continue this month with the quarter's focus area; mental resiliency.

The mental pillar focuses on helping Airmen approach life's challenges in a positive way by demonstrating self-control, stamina and good character all while seeking help and offering help to others.

Creech Wing leadership expressed immense support for CAF days and their importance to make sure they are doing everything they can to help strengthen Airmen.

Brien went on to say, "We need to be safe, fit to fight and work on resiliency together so we can help one another out."

By helping Airmen understand the application of CAF through interactive training and team-building activities, the training teaches Airmen to respond to life stressors.

The four pillars of CAF are mental, physical, social and spiritual. Each is designed to continually work together to support Airmen and their families.

Freedom of Religion; Two cultures, same house

by Senior Airman Camilla Elizeu
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

8/15/2013 - DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz.,  -- Staff Sgt. Asad Abdul Muhammad, 355th Fighter Wing protocol specialist, has just finished partaking in Ramadan.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar.

Every day this month, Muslims around the world spend the daylight hours abstaining from food, drink and other physical needs during the daylight hours, it is a time to purify the soul, refocus attention on God and practice self-sacrifice.

"Ramadan is a test of discipline," Abdul Muhammad said. "When I participate in Ramadan, I am humbled by the fact that at the end of the day I get a meal where there are people who don't have that option. They don't have a choice of when their next meal will come, if it comes at all."

Abdul Muhammad, being the only Muslim in his household, was the only one who participated in Ramadan.

"The kids didn't notice it much," Abdul Muhammad said. "They have their own schedules for dinner and bed time, so by the time I am eating they are in bed. My wife does try and wait for me to have dinner, though. She also plans to fast with me next year."

Abdul Muhammad's wife is a Catholic, who is very interested in other religions, and teaches their children about the different options they have.

"We do not try to force our religion on them," Abdul Muhammad said. "We believe that it is their right to choose what religion they want to follow, so we celebrate all holidays in the Islamic culture as well as the Christian culture."

Abdul Muhammad's parents raised him the same way.

"Growing up, my parents were Baptist, and my dad converted to Muslim. Sometime after that my mother converted as well," Abdul Muhammad said. "But they didn't force it on me; they gave me the choice of attending church with my uncles and aunts or going to the mosque with them. So, I tried both out and decided to be a Muslim."

The Abdul Muhammad family hasn't picked a religious establishment to attend in the local area, but that doesn't mean they aren't partaking in their religious beliefs.

"Religion doesn't have to have a building," Abdul Muhammad said. "We believe in focusing on the lessons to be learned from the book, rather than someone else's interpretation."

The children in the family are taught moral values based off the different religions in the house.

"We teach them the values that our religions teach us. We want to instill morals in them," Abdul Muhammad said. "When you think about it, that is what this nation is; a variety of cultures, a variety of identities."

Muhammad's wife has taught her children about Buddhism, Judaism, Catholicism and Islamism.

"In the house we have a Bible, a Kabbalah, a Quran and books on different religions for kids," Abdul Muhammad said. "We just want our kids to focus on the lessons, essentially a good moral standing."

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Creating resilient people who happen to the world

by Staff Sgt. Amber R. Kelly-Herard
Air Mobility Command Public Affairs

8/13/2013 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill.  -- Resilience training builds stronger Airmen who can handle adverse conditions and recover from them easily.

To equip defenders with resilience, Air Mobility Command security forces commanders and trainers participated in the 2013 AMC Security Forces Defender's Edge Training Summit July 29 through Aug. 2, here.

"Security forces and explosive ordnance disposal forces operate outside the wire on a regular basis in dangerous conditions and find themselves in situations needing operational resiliency," said Col. Randall Richert, AMC Directorate of Installations and Mission Support Security Forces chief. "Defender's Edge Training is important because it provides Airmen a set of tools prior to an incident occurring."

Defender's Edge Training was created by Dr. Deloria Wilson, Air Force Security Forces Center, especially for security forces Airmen. Wilson came to Scott personally to teach this course about remaining calm under stress.

"Defenders learn their technical skill set and do well in the Air Force," said Richert. "With this training, Airmen can develop a tougher mind - spiritually, mentally and physically.'

"If you combine a tougher mind with technical skill set, they have the tool set to do a job well," Richert continued. "Then if you create a team of Airmen all with the same training, it creates an incredible team."

The summit also included Sergeant Rock Physical Training, a special type of training developed around 2004 at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, with fitness specialists and experts from the Cooper Institute, focusing on muscle failure and muscle memory.
Additionally, retired Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, author of "On Killing" and "On Combat" presented "The Bulletproof Mind" at the base theater. Experts also offered a clinic on injury-free running.

"The tools provided during the week of training are all invaluable and when coupled with one another make a more resilient SF Defender prepared for rigors specific to police work, base defense and ground combat," Master Sgt. Peter Maraia, AMC Security Forces Resources and Budget manager. "Not only am I coming away from this training personally more prepared for my duties as a Security Forces member, I am now armed with knowledge that will help me assist my fellow Defenders."

"For most people, the world happens to them," said Richert. "We want to create people that happen to the world."

Monday, August 05, 2013

Finding the Passion of Service

by Master Sgt. Todd Wivell
62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

8/3/2013 - JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- "When I was a captain, I received some unexpected news that I had been selected to fly the MQ-1 Predator," said Col. David Kumashiro, 62nd Airlift Wing commander. "I was at a point in my career where I was uncertain whether I was going to make the Air Force a career. I had been flying the line for several years and was in all honesty a little burned out.

"That assignment probably ended up being the best thing that ever happened to me. I was thrust into a world I knew nothing about--a new technology, a new combat mission, and a new Air Force "clan." In fact, the Predator was so new that few senior leaders had experience in how we employed the platform and, as a result, had no choice but to trust the expertise and leadership of our young crew force.

"It rekindled the fire and the passion I had to try and make things better, to make the Air Force better and to make the lives of the Air Force men and women better. As I look back at my experiences in the Predator, my hope is that all Airmen have an opportunity to experience the unexpected passion of Service."

Kumashiro took over command of 62nd Airlift Wing during a change of command ceremony, July 17. Since his arrival he has made his way around the wing in the hopes of getting to know his new Airmen and their families, as family ties are extremely important to him.

"I've been extremely blessed to come from a very supportive and loving family that has been privileged to have had the opportunity to serve in our USAF," said Kumashiro. "My father received his Air Force commission through ROTC in 1965, my oldest brother received his Air Force commission through Officer Training School, and his wife through ROTC at Bowling Green. I was fortunate enough to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy where I received my commission.

"One of the most memorable moments in my life was when my father commissioned me at the Academy. A couple of days later, we drove down to Kirtland Air Force Base where he was assigned and participated in his retirement from the Air Force after 26 years of service."

This is Kumashiro's first time stationed at JBLM and his first time stationed in the Pacific Northwest.

"This is an amazing area with so much going on--the natural beauty of Puget Sound, Mount Rainier and the Olympic range. I'm looking very forward to venture out and see what the area has to offer," said Kumashiro. "I'm a big seafood fan, too, so I'll be out trying all the great food from our local restaurants. If you are ever bored, let me know and we will find something to do."

Along with looking forward to hiking in the Pacific Northwest, the commander said his hobbies include running, golfing, swimming, cycling, working out, and skiing. His favorite sports are soccer, golf and tennis.

"The Seattle Mariners and the Seattle Seahawks are my teams now," said Kumashiro when asked about his favorite sports teams. "Since I moved around a lot, I never gained an allegiance to any single team--with the exception, of course, of the mighty Air Force Academy Falcons."

As an Air Force dependent and in his current AF career, the colonel has moved around quite a lot in his life and with those moves he has developed a strong respect for the local community ties.

"At its core, our community partnership is important because all of us benefit from being good neighbors," said Kumashiro. "At JBLM, we are so incredibly fortunate to have a long tradition of strong community partner relations that is based on mutual respect and transparency.

"I've already met many of our local leaders and community members and can attest to their commitment to ensuring this partnership continues.

"I do want to take a moment and thank all our community partners and civic leaders across the Puget Sound area for the tremendous support they have given to our military members.

"Life in the military can be stressful, and the selfless support we receive from our community partners goes a long way to improving the resiliency of our Air Force. We could not do it without them."

For the colonel, this is his first time at a joint base and only his second time in a joint billet; however he understands how important joint basing is.

"In today's dynamic and complex battle space, we must be integrated and seamless in how we conduct joint operations regardless of our respective mission sets and service cultures," said Kumashiro. "Joint basing is a foundational step to achieving this objective. Moreover, in this challenging fiscal environment, we must take advantage of every efficiency we possibly can to ensure we are good stewards of U.S. taxpayer dollars. "Great organizations don't shy away from different ideas and perspectives rather they embrace the opportunity to share unique and diverse experiences. It's what a learning organization is all about and bottom line, it can only make us better."

As a young captain, Col. David Kumashiro took on the challenge of being assigned to fly the Predator and it was at a time in his career when he was unsure of what the future held for him. He embraced that challenge and has benefited ever since. "I challenge all of us to 'find the unexpected passion of Service,'" said Kumashiro. "Mine was the MQ-1 Predator. What's yours?"

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Two hats one man

by Senior Airman Melissa Paradise
6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

8/2/2013 - MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- During the week, Robert Foster is the battalion commander for the City of Atlanta Fire Rescue Department, but for one weekend out of each month for the last 20 years, he dons a different kind of uniform and provides lifesaving medical care as an Air Force Reserves chief master sergeant and 927th Aeromedical Staging Squadron superintendent.

"My primary role [as the 927th ASTS superintendent] is to lead and manage approximately 150 medical personnel ranging from emergency medical technicians to surgeons," said Foster. "However as the battalion commander, my primary responsibility is emergency scene management which includes acting as the on-scene commander for calls such as motor vehicle crashes, high-rise rescues, medical emergencies and structure fires."

The two careers, although different, go hand-in-hand with each other. Both are high intensity, high stress jobs that deal with saving lives. Firefighting deals with an immediate emergency and being a medic deals with an emergency and long-term medical care afterwards.

For Foster, having both careers has helped him remain calm in situations that could easily overwhelm most individuals.

"My dual careers have enabled me to view a crisis from a variety of directions," explained Foster. "This has allowed me to determine the best solution for a situation, which in turn provides the best possible outcome."

In 1999, Foster was assigned to a paramedic special operations unit in Atlanta which responded to an incident in a high-rise involving an active shooter. His role was to ensure the crew's safety, triage multiple gunshot victims and facilitate the immediate evacuation of critically injured patients while the shooter was still on scene.

"Because of the extensive medical training that I have received in both the military and civilian positions, I find that I have an expanded view of handling emergency situations," said Foster.

With the balance between Foster's two careers and the support of his family, he has had the opportunity to do many great things in his life. After serving 21 years as a firefighter, seven years on active duty, 20 years as a reservist and two years as an Army National Guard helicopter medic Foster now uses all of his skills to help expand the knowledge of others.

"I am very fortunate to have had an opportunity to do all I have done," said Foster. "I plan to continue passing on my knowledge to both the other firefighters and the Airmen."