Leadership Ideas, Information and News

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Joint Chiefs Finishing Study on Ethics Training, Chairman Says


By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT, Jan. 17, 2013 – The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is preparing to finish a study on ethics training in the military, a task he received  from Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta to examine following some misjudgments, revelations and crimes by a few senior military leaders.

Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey and the rest of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are finishing up work on recommendations, but he said he hopes this is a work in progress.

“I don’t want this to be a one-off, take 60 days, slap our hands together and declare victory,” he said. “I think we have to continue to learn about the profession.”

Dempsey said he would like to put some of these recommendations in place and review them again about six months later.

The chairman noted that the service chiefs themselves are working this issue.

“We’re not out-sourcing this,” Dempsey said.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff will write a memo to the secretary about their conclusions, present an internal tasking on aspects the chiefs can change and present a request to the secretary for changes he can authorize.

There will be changes to military education and to the way the military evaluates, assesses, selects and promotes, Dempsey said.

“The idea is to review the conclusions, decide what is working and what isn’t, educate the force, [and] encourage the force and its leaders to have a conversation,” he said. “I want the process to be a dynamic and interactive continuum of studies, so we can be the best leaders that we can be.”

Dempsey has been interested in what makes the military a profession since he joined. As a major at the Army’s Command and General Staff College on Fort Leavenworth, Kan., he did a paper based on Robert E. Lee’s quote that “duty is the sublimest word in our language.”

So he isn’t a “Johnny-come-lately” to this party. “I want these values to be less abstract and more real to people,” he said.

It makes sense to study ethics in the military profession, but Dempsey hurries to say that the profession is in good shape. He does not anticipate a sea change on ethics, rather a small course correction to make the military better.

“We have to require leaders to understand and think about their profession,” he said. “If you don’t, then you migrate pretty quickly into the … military being just another job.”

The discussion of that goes to the distinction that must be made between competence and character. This is what sets a profession apart. A profession cares about both competence and character, and it wants to keep them in balance, Dempsey said.

“In times of conflict, it may be that we tend to overvalue competence and undervalue character, and we need to watch that,” he said.

Air Force names Lance P. Sijan Award winners



By Louise Brown
Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas – Air Force officials recently announced the winners of the 2012 Lance P. Sijan Air Force Leadership Award.

The Lance P. Sijan Air Force Leadership Award recognizes Airmen who have demonstrated outstanding leadership abilities.

The senior officer category winner is Lt. Col. Nathan C. Green, who is assigned to Hurlburt Field, Fla. As an Air Force Office of Special Investigations commander deployed to Iraq for 142 days, Green oversaw the M-28 Skytruck transition from a theater light mobility to a combat resupply aircraft, and directed the first ever M-28 airdrop in combat. He led a three-ship formation airdrop that came under fire from anti-aircraft artillery. According to his commander, Green’s direction saved a critical airdrop, aircrew and aircraft. In garrison, the colonel improved his squadron's alert commitment to national emergencies from 38 to 85 percent.

The junior officer recipient is Capt. Blake O. Luttrell, Special Tactics Officer, 21st Special Tactics Squadron, Pope Air Force Base, N.C., Air Force Special Operations Command. While engaged in close battle with Afghan Taliban, Luttrell charged a cave entrance and pulled a wounded teammate from the kill zone. According to his commander, the captain guided in "danger close" airstrikes that defeated the enemy, saved his team and earned him the Silver Star for valor. Additionally, he conducted 24 other combat missions during which his close-air-support neutralized Taliban insurgents.

The senior enlisted category winner is Senior Master Sgt. Davide Keaton, who is assigned to Hurlburt Field, Fla., AFSOC. Keaton established a critical Personnel Recovery Coordination Cell for the Commander International Security Assistance Force directed task force, establishing comprehensive rescue coverage for five commands, 160 aircraft and 12,000 warriors. Additionally, he managed a $400 million-portfolio and directed the combat readiness of a 900-member force, driving 14 deployments spanning four theaters, resulting in 3,000 combat operations. According to his commander, Keaton also epitomized service before self when he saved an elderly woman trapped inside a submerged vehicle.

The junior enlisted category winner is Technical Sgt. Tavis J. Delaney, Washington Air National Guard. Deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Sergeant Delaney led his tactical air control party in ground operations against enemy forces in Regional Command-East, employing 165 hours of close air support assets against a determined enemy. According to his commander, during a 16-hour battle, Delaney controlled 26 airstrikes, many within close proximity to friendly forces, eliminating the insurgent threat and ensuring the safe return of all 64 coalition members. For his focus on prosecuting airstrikes and rallying coalition troops over personal safety, he earned the Silver Star.

The Lance P. Sijan award, first awarded in 1981, was established in honor of the first U.S. Air Force Academy graduate to receive the Medal of Honor. A captain, Sijan was shot down over Vietnam Nov. 9, 1967, and evaded capture for 45 days despite severe injuries. He later died while in a Vietnamese prisoner-of-war camp and was posthumously presented the Medal of Honor for his heroism.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Community leaders inducted as Team Buckley co-commanders

by Staff Sgt. Nicholas Rau
460th Space Wing Public Affairs


1/16/2013 - BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.  -- Col. Daniel Dant, 460th Space Wing commander, inducted 18 community leaders Jan. 11 as co-commanders in a ceremony held at the Buckley Leadership Development Center.

The community commander program is designed to pair local civilians with military commanders in an effort to increase communication, promote an understanding of Buckley's mission and showcase the Air Force's role in national defense.

Dant focused on the concept of collaborative leadership and building stronger bonds between the civilians and their service-member counterparts.

"You get more done through your interpersonal relationships than any formal process you are a part of, and that is exactly what we are after," Dant explained.

It may be these connections that make Buckley a major player in the Aurora community.

"Buckley is one of the most valuable assets to the community," said Tom Allee, Frontier Airlines and community commander. "The jobs and contracts it creates support the economy, and the caliber of the individual are the kind of people you want in the community."

Dant reminded the civilians that staying connected with their military commanders will give them a real opportunity to impact national defense.

The recently inducted co-commanders include the following:
Councilmember Debi Holen-Hunter, representing Steve Hogan, Aurora mayor
Cathy Noon, Centennial mayor
Kevin Hougen, Aurora Chamber of Commerce president
Commissioner Bill Holen, Arapahoe County commissioner
Paul Suss, Suss Pontiac GMC president and general manager
John Bennett, First Command Financial district advisor
Skip Noe, Aurora city manager
William Stuart, Aurora Public Schools deputy superintendent
Chief Daniel Oates, Aurora Police Department chief of police
Jeff Thompson, University of Colorado Hospital director of government and corporate relations
State Representative Su Ryden, State House District 36
Craig Ward, Padgett Business Services president
Tom Allee, Frontier Airlines
Lisa Buckley, American Automation Building Solutions president
Alton Scales, Aurora Community College president
Cindy Kreutz, Spalding Rehabilitation Center CEO and president
Ron Weidmann, Centennial councilmember
Suzanne Pitrusu, Colorado Business Bank vice president

Monday, January 14, 2013

Airman Builds Future Leaders


By Air Force Senior Airman Cody H. Ramirez
374th Airlift Wing

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan, Jan. 14, 2013 – Air Force Tech. Sgt. Joseph Gambles is familiar with leadership.


Click photo for screen-resolution image
Air Force Tech. Sgt. Joseph Gambles provides drill instruction to Senior Airman Kevin Gutierrez at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Jan. 9, 2013. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cody H. Ramirez
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
As a professional military education instructor for the Airman Leadership School here, Gambles ensures the Air Force is stocked with reliable noncommissioned officers to mold airmen into future leaders.
 
The Airman Leadership School program is a six-week course enlisted airmen must complete before assuming the rank of staff sergeant. Gambles said the course makes airmen better leaders by giving them the skills needed to be effective supervisors.

"My job as an instructor is to be a living extension of the ALS curriculum that students are responsible to read," Gambles said. "That is to say, if the students cannot grasp the material from the reading alone, I apply different methods of presentation until the student can comprehend it."

Air Force Senior Airman Robert Tangen, a 374th Medical Operations Squadron allergy and immunizations technician and current ALS student, said Gambles has an approachable and open teaching style, while still commanding authority as an instructor.

"If you do not understand something or you need clarification, [Gambles] is good at breaking it down and making it understandable," Tangen said. "You are not afraid to approach him, and you never feel like you have a stupid question.

"It really shows his professionalism overall, being approachable in that manner," Tangen added. "Gambles shows you what type of person you would want to be in a supervisory position."
Gambles said his goal is to allow students to see they are capable of becoming great supervisors and leaders.

"In-residence ALS is of the utmost importance, because these members are crossing into a new tier where they are going to be responsible for supervising other airmen," he said. "This course really highlights for them the weight of that responsibility while, at the same time, equipping them to face that challenge."

Gambles said that without this training, new NCOs can fall into one of the two extremes on the supervisory spectrum: being too strict or being a buddy rather than a leader. Most new NCOs think leadership is too far a destination to reach, he added, but by the time they graduate from ALS, they are well informed on what they need to do.

The curriculum includes one-on-one counseling, setting standards, evaluating and providing feedback, methods of motivating and how to produce quality written products. The program exposes the students to dozens of leadership philosophies and motivational theories, techniques to manage time and stress, group dynamics, human diversity and joint operations.

"What makes the learning experience complete is that students must incorporate concepts of time, stress and conflict management," the instructor said. "They need to actually be a better communicator, not only for briefings, but to actually function as a team."

Gambles said the highlight of his work is witnessing the moments when students realize their potential to be effective supervisors and become aware of the difference they can make in their subordinates’ lives.

A conviction to do right by their airmen is the most important ideal a supervisor can maintain, Gambles said, adding that the lack of this conviction in many supervisors drove him to become an instructor.

"All across the service, there are members with mediocre to poor supervisors, and that was severely affecting how they, in turn, would supervise," he said. "After I graduated from the NCO Academy in December 2010, I realized I had strength in public speaking. I felt I could use this talent to help others and attempt to send a higher-quality supervisor back to the units."

Tangen noted that ALS focuses on leading by example and Gambles is able to be that example the students can look up to while they are learning.

"We can look back and think, 'He did it that way,' and try to emulate that style that he sets being an instructor, or basically a supervisor, for this course," Tangen said.

Every class evolves into a team during the course, Gambles said. It always is a pleasure to see service members "going from conflicting with one another to building friendships that will last for years,” he added.

The pride and unity that culminate on graduation night for the students and staff “never gets old," he said.

Rupps nominated for O'Malley Award

by Senior Airman Armando A. Schwier-Morales
22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs


1/14/2013 - MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Col. Ricky Rupp and his spouse, Charlotte, received the 2013 General Jerome F. O'Malley and Diane O'Malley Air Mobility Command nomination Jan. 3, 2013.

Rupp has led the 22nd Air Refueling Wing since June 2011 commanding more than 2,800 active duty Airmen in one of three core tanker wings.

Named in honor of O'Malley and his wife who were known for their leadership and contributions to Air Force families and communities, the annual award recognizes the wing commander and spouse team whose contributions to the nation, Air Force and local community best exemplify the highest ideals and positive leadership of a military couple in a key Air Force position.

"Colonel and Mrs. Rupp have exemplified the highest ideals and positive leadership of a military couple in a key leadership position," said Lt. Gen. Darren McDew, 18th Air Force commander, in his endorsement letter. "Through innovation, community outreach and demonstrated professionalism, they have led the base to a new standard of excellence. Colonel and Mrs. Rupp are truly the heartbeat of McConnell Air Force Base."

The Rupps have set new standards that have garnered more than 108 higher headquarter level awards. They also guided the base to the finalist level for the Commander-in-Chief's Installation Excellence Award, obtaining $700,000 for base and quality of life improvements.

"I have had the privilege of watching Colonel and Mrs. Rupp work individually and on a collaborative level," said Senior Airman Christopher Lange, 22nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron Bioenvironmental Flight technician. "What makes them stand out is that they both exude the same passion to identify areas not only around base but also in Airmen's lives that need their attention and support. Once these areas are identified the rapidness of providing the solution to any issues that arise is unprecedented."

By focusing on leadership, goals, and excellence, the Rupps embraced their local community and strengthened ties to create a partnership, according to the award citation.

"The company grade officers on base benefited from the Wing Shadow program in which they get to spend time with the wing commander and see what Wing Stand up involves," said Capt. Mike Vilven, McConnell Company Grade Officer Council president. "Additionally, his strict standards to Officer Performance Reports writing are helping CGOs strive to be more competitive and have better chances for future leadership projects."

Together, the Rupps have volunteered more than 500 hours to the base, advocated four wing cultural events, highlighted family contributions to the base, fortified the Key Spouse's network, transformed the Hearts Apart program, orchestrated the Riverfest military appreciation night, and championed heritage through the Air Force Birthday Gala, according to the nomination package.

These accomplishments are just some of the many AMC recognize upon nominating the Rupps for the O'Malley award, but the Rupps hope to continue the leading the wing that develops next generation of leaders, sets and achieve goals and fosters a culture of excellence.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Naval Postgraduate School, Navy Leaders Continue Community Outreach Efforts

By Kenneth A. Stewart, Naval Postgraduate School Public Affairs
MONTEREY, Calif. (NNS) -- Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs Juan M. Garcia returned to the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) for his second round of meetings with local community business and education leaders, Jan. 9.

"It has been a great couple of days for the NPS community. Secretary Garcia's presence and participation in our community outreach initiative is critical to its success," said NPS Interim President Rear Adm. Jan E. Tighe. "His interactions with our students, faculty and staff have been very beneficial in highlighting our unique value to the Navy and the nation. The high-quality of our students and workforce showed prominently throughout the visit."

The community outreach initiatives are intended to strengthen community ties, ensuring both the institution and the community maintain constant dialogue as NPS moves forward into 2013.

"I am pleased to return to Monterey to continue our efforts of engagement with regional leadership through these outreach initiatives," said Garcia. "The input we have received in the early stages of this effort has been invaluable, and I am very confident this outreach will only continue to provide critical input to the future of this prestigious university."

In addition to meeting with community leaders, Garcia also held a meeting with current NPS students as well. Garcia posed a series of questions on a wide range of subjects, with the students offering their own opinions on everything from NPS research opportunities and faculty to future assignments and quality of life issues.

"During this visit to campus, I took the opportunity to meet with several students and faculty to gain a deeper understanding of their perspectives of the institution," said Garcia. "The men and women studying here are the future leaders of the Navy ... As we move forward, we must keep a vigilant eye toward the true value of NPS."

"The instruction at NPS, compared to the training we normally receive, is extraordinary ... The people in front of the podium are incredible and what they teach is in line with the needs of my service," said U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Brent Molaski in response to a question about the quality of an NPS education.

"They are recognized experts in the field, particularly in my field of tropical cyclone research," added U.S. Navy Lt. Travis Wendt.

NASA employee Marissa Herron agreed with her fellow students, and commented on her plans after graduation.

"I plan on going back to Houston and applying my remote sensing experience to a NASA problem, perhaps the Mars Rover Project," said Herron.

In addition to his meetings with regional leaders, students and faculty, Garcia also spent an afternoon touring various NPS educational and research facilities.

"I was impressed with the research facilities and labs I had the chance to explore this afternoon," said Garcia. "Certainly, any graduate education requires a fundamental effort in research, and NPS clearly has the talent and facilities to support the explorations of its students."

Friday, January 11, 2013

Disciplined, precise mission execution and engaged leadership

by Air Force Col. Dirk Smith
3rd Wing commander


1/10/2013 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Why do we come to work every day? There is one reason: to provide combat and mobility airpower for our combatant commanders in order to meet our nation's security requirements.

Do you realize how critically important each and every Airman is to the 3rd Wing mission? Every Airman can make a huge difference every day, one task at a time, one day at a time, and one Airman at a time. Each Airman, from airman first class to colonel, has a responsibility to No. 1 be an engaged leader and No. 2 foster an environment of disciplined, precise mission execution.

What identifies an engaged leader? An engaged leader knows the pulse of an organization and the importance of communication, teamwork and mutual support. We engage those around us by recognizing the value in seemingly small and insignificant actions that foster effective communication.

It only takes a few seconds to praise a fellow Airman for a job well done, or remind him or her to uphold high standards. Sincerity is defined by eye contact, a smile, a firm handshake and two words: "Thank you." These qualities within the unit go a long way toward making us a better team.

How can we be engaged leaders? Fostering an environment with open lines of two-way communication between supervisor and subordinate is a sign of engaged leadership. This professional and respectful feedback will build trust and result in clear, mutually understood expectations.

Engaged leaders know their people well enough to notice when things are going well or when a fellow Airman seems troubled. By establishing a culture of mutual support, all members of the team check each others' six o'clock and pitch in unselfishly when fellow Airmen have a bad day, make a mistake, or just need a break.

Finally, engaged leaders put the mission first and the team's success above personal goals and desires for recognition while serving their Airmen. Even our most junior Airmen, straight out of tech school can be engaged leaders.

What is disciplined, precise mission execution? Executing every step by the book, in accordance with technical orders and published instructions is core to our profession of providing combat and mobility airpower, on target on time.

Effective leaders execute the mission by knowing the trade and setting the example. We must be technical experts first and as we move up in rank and responsibility, broaden our scope of understanding and other technical disciplines.

Effective leaders keenly observe their subordinates on the job and set expectations for 100 percent compliance and accountability. A precisely executed mission is inherently combat effective and safe. Safe operations preserve precious material resources and most importantly, our people.

Every day on our flight line, in our back shops and our administrative areas, we have opportunities to make a difference, one day at a time, one task at a time and one Airman at a time.

Challenge yourself to recognize these moments and act. Don't be afraid to be an engaged leader and set a good example. Don't accept mediocrity or anything other than disciplined and precise mission execution.

Airman takes pride in building future leaders

by Senior Airman Cody H. Ramirez
374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


1/11/2013 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- It is a simple word to describe a powerful human trait or action; the ability to influence or guide a group of people to complete an act greater than themselves - leadership.

Tech. Sgt. Joseph Gambles is one familiar with leadership.

As a Professional Military Education instructor for the Yokota Airman Leadership School, Gamble ensures the Air Force is stocked with reliable NCOs who are responsible for tailoring young Airmen into future leaders.

The Airman Leadership School program is a six-week course Airmen must accomplish if they are to assume the rank of staff sergeant. According to Gambles, ALS molds Airmen into better leaders by giving them the skills needed to be effective supervisors.

"My job as an instructor is to be a living extension of the ALS curriculum that students are responsible to read," Gambles said. "That is to say, if the students cannot grasp the material from the reading alone, I apply different methods of presentation until the student can comprehend it."

Senior Airman Robert Tangen, 374th Medical Operations Squadron Allergy and Immunizations technician and current ALS student, said Gambles has an approachable and open teaching style while still commanding authority as an instructor.

"If you do not understand something or you need clarification, (Gambles) is good at breaking it down and making it understandable," Tangen said. "You are not afraid to approach him and you never feel like you have a stupid question.

"It really shows his professionalism overall, being approachable in that manner," Tangen added. "Gambles shows you what type of person you would want to be in a supervisory position."

Gambles said he ensures the students are able to fully understand and apply lesson principles (on course exams), grade written and oral assignments and execute a graduation ceremony in a distinct, formal manner, but his personal goal as an instructor is to allow students to see what they are capable of becoming: a great supervisor and leader.

"In-residence ALS is of the utmost importance because these members are crossing into a new tier where they are going to be responsible for supervising other Airmen," Gambles said. "This course really highlights for them the weight of that responsibility while, at the same time, equipping them to face that challenge."

Gambles said without this training, the majority of new NCOs fall into one of the two extremes of the supervisory spectrum: being too strict or being a buddy rather than a leader. According to Gambles, most new NCOs feel like leadership, for them, is too far a destination to reach, but by the time the students graduate, they are well informed of what they need to do to carry the mantle of supervision.

The cirriculum taught includes one-on-one counseling, setting standards, evaluating and providing feedback, methods of motivating and how to produce quality written products. The program's curriculum exposes the students to dozens of leadership philosophies and motivational theories, techniques to manage time, stress, group dynamics, human diversity and joint operations.

"What makes the learning experience 'complete' is that, in order to succeed in the program, students must incorporate the 'new concepts' of time, stress and conflict management," the instructor said. "They need to actually be a better communicator, not only for briefings, but to actually function as a team."

Gambles, who said he is in the best position since he began his Air Force career, has instructed seven flights through the ALS program and is currently working with his eighth. He said the highlight of his work is witnessing the moment a student realizes their potential to be an effective supervisor and becomes aware of the difference they can make in a subordinate's life.

A conviction to do right by their Airmen is the most important ideal a supervisor can maintain, according to Gambles. He said what drove him to become an instructor was the lack of this conviction in many supervisors.

"All across the service there are members with mediocre to poor supervisors, and that was severely affecting how they in-turn would supervise," Gambles said.

"After I graduated from the NCO Academy in December 2010, I realized I had strength in public speaking," he added. "I felt I could use this talent to help others and attempt to send a higher quality supervisor back to the units."

Gambles does exactly that with every course he instructs, according to Tangen, who said the ALS courses focuses on leading by example and Gambles is able to be that example the students can look up to while they are learning.

"We can look back and think 'he did it that way' and try to emulate that style that he sets being an instructor, or basically a supervisor, for this course," Tangen said.

Every class evolves into a team over the course, according to Gambles. He said it is always great to witness service members "going from conflicting with one another to building friendships that will last for years. Also, the pride and unity that culminates between all of the students, and us, the staff, on graduation night - that never gets old."

Chief Gaylord inspires Alamo Wing at annual awards banquet

by Elsa Martinez
433rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs


1/8/2013 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- The fifth Chief Master Sgt of the Air Force inspired members of the 433rd Airlift Wing and their guests at the Alamo Wing's second annual awards banquet at the Gateway Club Jan. 5.

Chief Master Sgt. Robert D. Gaylord, who retired in 1979, regaled guests with anecdotes about his 31-year career that led to his formula for success of opportunity, aptitude and attitude. But, he added, the most valuable asset to a well-rounded life was the continued pursuit of education.

"Never stop learning," he remarked. "You must wake up every morning and know that you are open to learning something new will enrich your life and those around you."

"It was an honor and a privilege to have a true Air Force living legend, Chief Gaylor as the guest speaker for our ceremony," said Col. Jeffrey T. Pennington, 433rd Airlift Wing commander. "The military and civilian award winners exemplified all the qualities Chief Gaylor covered. I guarantee wing leadership will continue to relay the importance of education to our Airmen. Only through continued learning will our Airmen and civilian force be ready to handle the challenges which lay ahead for the Air Force and our wing in the 21st Century."

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Three AFSOC Airmen receive Sijan award for leadership

by Rachel Arroyo
Air Force Special Operations Command Public Affairs


1/10/2013 - HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- Three Air Force Special Operations Command Airmen at the tip of the spear received one of the Air Force's most prestigious awards, the 2012 Lance P. Sijan USAF leadership award.

The award recognizes Airmen who exemplify the highest forms of leadership not only at work but in the community and their personal lives.

This is the first time AFSOC Airmen have been selected in three of four categories.

Lt. Col. Nathan Green, commander of the 4th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla., is the recipient in the senior officer category.

Captain Blake Luttrell, a special tactics officer assigned to the 21st Special Tactics Squadron, Pope Field, NC, is the recipient in the junior officer category.

Senior Master Sgt. Davide Keaton, a pararescuemen assigned to the 720th Operations Support Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla., is the recipient in the senior enlisted category.

The award requires candidates demonstrate leadership through scope of responsibility, professional leadership, leadership image and community involvement.

All three Airmen have something in common when it comes to leadership -people are their priority.

Green commanded AFSOC's largest, manned flying squadron containing AC-130Us.

He also led the integration of seven Emirati special operations forces airframes into coalition operations, according to the award citation.

Green said he is extremely grateful to be honored with this award. He credits his leaders, mentors and family for shaping and supporting him throughout his Air Force career.

"I am speechless and very humbled to be able to lead our Airmen, especially in AFSOC," he said. "This award is a testament to them."

Communication is central to his leadership style. The Airmen have great capabilities to put the commander's intent in action so long as that intent is conveyed clearly, he said.

"There are many facets to leadership - sometimes you have to be a coach, sometimes a teacher," Green said. "You have to lead by example, and you have to trust your people."

Luttrell was awarded the Silver Star, the nation's third highest combat decoration, in January 2012 for gallantry in combat. He pulled his wounded team medic from a cave while under intense enemy fire and administered immediate medical treatment.

As the only Airman on an Army special operations forces team, he engaged in combat operations spanning 150 days including 25 high-risk missions resulting in 29 enemy combatants eliminated, according to the award citation.

He also instructed Afghan Army and local police force members on close quarter battle, assisting the transition effort in Afghanistan.

Luttrell says he learns just as much if not more from his people than they do from him.

"A leader is someone who is willing to listen to input, but isn't afraid to make tough decisions," he said.

Keaton, who completed his own tenth Global War on Terror deployment in 2012, also guided 14 deployments across four theaters that resulted in 3,023 combat operations and 568 enemy combatants eliminated, according to the award citation.

While stateside, he also saved a 74-year-old woman from drowning in a submerged car when an automobile accident caused her to run off the road into a lake. An onlooker appeared with a hammer, Keaton said. He grabbed it, broke the window and removed her from the vehicle.

Like Green, Keaton, who characterizes himself as a really down-to-earth guy, said he is also humbled to be selected for the Sijan award.

Keaton credits the special tactics career field for emphasizing the importance of getting the job done and encouraging Airmen to test their limitations, like Sijan was called to do.

To Keaton, leadership means taking care of your people.

"The most critical part of any project you work on are the people," he said.

The Lance P. Sijan USAF leadership award bears the namesake of the Medal of Honor recipient who was shot down in his F-4C Phantom fighter jet over Vietnam in 1967.

For 45 days, Sijan evaded enemy forces, and when he was captured and tortured, he refused to divulge any information beyond what is permissible by the Geneva Conventions until he died in the Hanoi Hilton, January 1968.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

'Lean forward' to make a difference

Commentary by Col. Miguel Colón
821st Air Base Group commander


1/9/2013 - THULE AIR BASE, Greenland (AFNS) -- How many times have you heard a soccer, baseball or football coach tell his players to lean forward? In my experience, a good coach will always provide this advice.

You may wonder, what makes this advice so important in sports? Leaning forward enables the player to be in a position that allows him or her to anticipate an action and quickly react to a play. Coaches, regardless of sport, are communicating how important it is to maintain control of the play and ultimately control of the game.

Control enables the team to synchronize its plan in tempo and timing to be in a position to win. It starts with leaning forward and it takes preparation. Before a player can effectively lean forward, he or she must know the rules of the game and must have the skill to create an opportunity to score or stop the opponent.

Similarly, in the military you also need to: know the rules and know your job, while working to do both well. Leaning forward begins with understanding the rules or procedures captured in Air Force instructions, technical orders or operations manuals. Along with your training, these documents define the boundaries and best practices you can employ to accomplish a specific task. They are not all inclusive.

The better you know your job, the greater the number of options you have available to solve a given problem. Your success, therefore, and that of your team is predicted on how hard you work at knowing your job.

Thomas Edison once said, "There is no substitute for hard work. I never did anything worth doing by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident; they came by work."

In order to lean forward against today's challenges, it is extremely important to become a skilled technician or subject matter expert in your functional area. There are several benefits to knowing your job well.

The whole team benefits when everyone possesses the tools necessary to solve any problem quickly and decisively, and even more importantly, when you know your job inside and out.
This shared knowledge also allows the team to communicate with one another and focus on the core issue of the problem. It helps the team understand the complexity of the problem and to identify resources required to accomplish the task at hand. It increases the team's ability to lean forward and control the situation. Once the situation is under control, the team becomes efficient as it is able to effectively prioritize tasks and minimize wasted time.

Our operational environment is becoming more complicated and complex. When you become a subject matter expert, you will notice an increase in your confidence as you lead and motivate your team. It is that confidence that drives mission accomplishment and your team's ability to adapt to any situation. Whether faced with numerous challenges or complexity driven by technology, it is important now more than ever to lean forward. Only then can you quickly adapt to the situation and succeed in our process driven world.

In the same fashion a coach tells his players to lean forward, the Air Force also needs you to lean forward. As leaders, it is your responsibility to maintain your technical expertise and create the environment for the team to succeed. Know the rules, know your job and work hard at being good at both. Lean forward and take control of the situation and lead the team to success. Remember, you are ready and you can make the difference.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Be the leader you deserve

Commentary by Maj. Dale Williquette
22nd Maintenance Operations Squadron


1/8/2013 - MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. (AFNS) -- We all know that the New Year brings resolutions that typically revolve around better health and fitness, paying off debt or competing educational goals.

What about making a resolution to be a better leader?

Vince Lombardi said, "Leadership rests not only upon ability, not only upon capacity - having the capacity to lead is not enough. The leader must be willing to use it. His leadership is then based on truth and character. There must be truth in the purpose and will power in the character."

Leadership is a key skill in almost any organization, but it is a must in the military. Key aspects of leadership include setting a good example, followed closely by setting and then enforcing standards. We all know these tenets from professional military education and mentorship that we receive from those we work with daily. There are two additional aspects of leadership that we should look at more closely if we want to be truly successful leaders.

The first is leading by being the leader you wish you had. We all know of good and bad examples of leadership. We have all worked for bad leaders and said to ourselves, "If I ever get a chance to lead, I'll never do what he/she just did."

We have also worked for outstanding leaders who we would attempt to emulate given the chance to lead. In my experience the best leaders were the ones who led as the leaders they wished they had. I know that sentence is a mouthful, but think about it. Would anyone want to be a bad leader for themselves? It is a leadership application of "do unto others as you would do unto yourself." This doesn't mean that you should cancel all standards and let people do whatever they want. It means that you should hold yourself to the same standard that you hold all of your folks to and treat them the way you would like a leader to treat you.

The second is followership. You're asking yourself, "What does followership have to do with leadership?" The answer is quite simple. The only individual in our military chain of command who does not work for a superior is the President of the United States. The rest of us are followers in some way. Those who you lead pay attention to how you follow your leaders. They will emulate your followership, therefore in order to be a good leader you must also be a good follower. In order to be a good follower I recommend you take the advice of the previous paragraph and be the follower you wish you had. Once again we have all had good followers and bad followers. As leaders we can learn from our followers if we just pay attention. If you are as good a follower as you wish you had, then your leadership will be happy as long as you maintain those standards we talked about earlier.

The ultimate goal of all leaders should be to grow their replacements. Our purpose should be to train our followers to be at least as good a leader, preferably a better leader, than we are now. By setting good examples of being the leader/follower we wish we had we can grow the next generation of Air Force leaders to improve upon our successes and continue the process of increasingly superior leadership. It is up to us to do it right.

Friday, January 04, 2013

CPPD Releases 2013 Naval Leader Planning Guide and Weekly Planner


By Susan Henson, Center for Personal and Professional Development Public Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- The Center for Personal and Professional Development (CPPD) has released the 2013 edition of the Naval Leader Planning Guide (NLPG) and the Naval Leader Weekly Planner (NLWP), CPPD leadership said Jan. 3.

Both versions of the planner were available online Dec. 13, and commands can download the PDF version free-of-charge from Navy Knowledge Online. Users can also download a file that can be imported into Microsoft Outlook that will populate personal calendars with the dates found in the product. Commands are authorized to use the downloaded source files to arrange for printing at local facilities to satisfy unit-level requests for the resource.

"We did a hard scrub of this year's the Naval Leader Planning Guide and the Naval Leader Weekly Planner to ensure we had the best possible product," said Capt. John Newcomer, CPPD's commanding officer. "We see delivering this product as part of our commitment to provide the fleet with the tools to lead with courage, respect and trust and mentor future leaders to do the same. The Naval Leader Planning Guide and the Weekly Planner are full of information to help leaders do just that."

The NLPG brings together a large amount of information in a compact, portable format. This year's edition includes a 15-month calendar (January 2013 to March 2014), a complete list of CPPD courses and services, contact information for all CPPD learning sites and Navy College Offices around the world, the Principles of Naval Leadership, and Navy and Marine Corps Selection Board and Fitness Report/Evaluation schedules. It also includes a directory of community managers and technical advisors at Navy Personnel Command.
The weekly version of this product contains a 13-month calendar, but all other sections contained in it are the same resources as the monthly guide, including the personal and professional development sections and the career management points of contact.

The 2013 product includes the latest Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Professional Reading Program list, which was announced in October of 2012 in conjunction with the Navy's birthday. The Marine Corps Professional Reading Program list was also updated for 2013.

"We strive to provide the most up-to-date information possible to ensure the fleet has the information needed to meet mission," said Newcomer. "Of course there's always an opportunity to improve, and we greatly value feedback from everyone on the Navy and Marine Corps team on how we can make it even better - please send us your suggestions."

To download the 2013 NLPG, log on to www.nko.navy.mil and select the Leadership tab. The guide can be downloaded as either a PDF file for printing or as an Excel file, which can be imported into Microsoft Outlook.

CPPD is responsible for providing a wide range of personal and professional development courses and materials, including General Military Training, Navy instructor training, alcohol and drug awareness program training, suicide and sexual assault prevention, bystander intervention, and personal responsibility classes. CPPD's required leadership training is delivered multiple times throughout a Sailor's career via command-delivered enlisted leadership training material and officer leadership courses in a schoolhouse setting. CPPD also administers the Navy's voluntary education program, which provides Sailors with the opportunity to earn college degrees. CPPD additionally manages the United Services Military Apprenticeship Program, which offers Sailors the opportunity to earn civilian apprenticeship certifications.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Naval Station Newport Hosts Regional Sea Cadet Leadership Training


By Bob Krekorian, Naval Station Newport Public Affairs

NEWPORT, R.I. (NNS) -- A contingent of 60 Sea Cadets from the New England area graduated Jan. 1 from the 11th annual U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps (NSCC), Region 1-3, Training Academy at Naval Station (NAVSTA) Newport.

The academy started Dec. 26 with the arrival of 49 cadets who enrolled in a Petty Officer Leadership Academy (POLA) and 11 cadets who enrolled in an Emergency Medicine Seminar (EMS).

"Trainings such as these are prerequisites for a cadet's advancement," said Lt. Cmdr. Dave Hull, NSCC, academy officer-in-charge.

Cadets from Indiana, California, Texas, Maryland, and South Carolina were amongst the group that consisted of six female cadets and 54 male cadets. Cadets ranged in ages 14 to 18 and wear a modified enlisted uniform.

Cadets meet at their local units during the school year, and train during winter and summer vacations at Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard installations nationwide.

"At the POLA cadets are learning to develop their leadership skills," Hull said. "Graduation from a leadership academy is a specific prerequisite for promotion to petty officer second class," he said.

Cadets received approximately 40 hours of classroom instruction on leadership, management, and counseling. Physical fitness training was conducted daily.

"Nearly 450 young men and women from across the country have benefited from this training opportunity over the years at Naval Station Newport," Hull said.

The Emergency Medicine Seminar is a pilot program that consists of classroom instruction and practical exercises. Cadets were certified in CPR, use of an automatic external defibrillator, and as first responders during the seminar.

"These cadets will receive first responder training from several Sea Cadet officers who are medical professionals," Hull said.

An ambulance/emergency medical equipment, and emergency medicine orientation was provided Dec. 30 by NAVSTA Newport Fire and Emergency Services personnel at the Public Safety Complex, Building 1373.