Commentary Search

  • The universal skillset of leadership

    A year ago, our Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., tasked the air staff with four key areas to focus their efforts. These were released to the Air Force a couple months later as “General Brown’s Action Orders.” Under Action Order A: Airmen, Brown stated the Air Force needs to, “find and enhance universal skillsets that are important to all Airmen regardless of Air Force Specialty Code,” so we can compete, deter and win in the high-end fight.
  • Proud to be an American

    I joined the Air Force for the uniform but stayed for the mission. Yes, I’ll admit that I answered my nation’s call not because I fancied myself a warrior but because I thought it’d be cool. One Zeydie (Yiddish for grandfather) taught physics in the Air Force in World War II, the other served in the Navy. My Uncle Chuck served in the Air National Guard and then as a peace officer in Point Lobos National Park and my granduncle Lt. Barney Welton was a C-47 pilot against the Nazis. Further back, I have ancestors who served under President Lincoln and also during the American Revolution. So putting on my dress uniform made me feel cool and connected to my family. It also made me feel like a superhero. 
  • Expertise and the importance of humility

    “It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.” — Epictetus Over my time in the Air Force, I have constantly pursued expertise in various domains (athletics, aviation, leadership, academic endeavors, etc.). There were times when I was behind my peers in gaining mastery of a certain skill (e.g., air refueling!!!). At other times, I achieved levels of expertise ahead of those with more flying hours or years of experience. In that same span of time, I’ve also seen a common misconception that experience equals expertise.
  • Effort

    Continuous effort drives motivation, accomplishment and excellence. Looking back on my Air Force career, the effort that I put into my work has in return widened my knowledge base, created opportunities, expanded my network and has allowed me to have a positive impact on those around me. Effort is a driving force that is developed and strengthened over time through our interactions and experiences. I have been lucky to have had great supervisors and colleagues who have trusted me enough to put me in situations to succeed and taught me how to be the best technician and team member to accomplish the mission; that providing my best effort everyday was highly valued and was instrumental in being successful. Effort is also influenced by experiences early on in your life and can change as your personal and professional development and goals change. What has given me the drive to give maximum effort are not just the successes earned but also the teachings from my family.
  • Staying connected and developing a culture of caring

    Many of us are or have struggled with personal issues, mental health problems, COVID stress, financial strain, work strain, family strain, or have dealt with losing a friend, fellow Airman or family member to suicide. We may feel like we have lost those connections that make us feel whole. We all strive for connectedness and belonging; we simply desire to know someone cares and that we are acknowledged as being important and impactful.
  • Airmen are people too

    The best superhero movies are the ones where we see how they're people too, just like us. Well, Airmen - the brave women and men who protect our nation - are our nation's superheroes. And they’re people, too. But how can we make people feel like people in a mission-oriented environment? This is the type of question our leadership thinks about and sometimes turns to the Chaplain Corps as “subject matter experts.” But I don’t always have all the answers. Sometimes, I just have observations. So here are three observations for how we can collectively contribute to being the answer to this question.
  • Team Dover’s Multi-Capable Airmen

    “We must focus on the Joint Warfighting Concept, enabled by Joint All-Domain Command and Control and rapidly move forward with digital, low cost, high tech, warfighting capacities. Most importantly, we must empower our incredible Airmen to solve any problem. We must place value in multi-capable and adaptable team builders, and courageous problem solvers that demonstrate value in diversity of thought, ingenuity and initiative.” – Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown.
  • Mentorship – Taking care of Airmen

    If you take a moment and think about those people that you admire and consider successful, have you ever asked why are they are so successful? If you had, you might have heard things like, “they worked hard and went above and beyond any expectations,” or “they had innovative ideas allowing for more effective mission accomplishment,” or “they already knew how to lead their organization to a higher level.” All of these are fantastic attributes, but if one were to ask the follow-up question of where did that successful person learn these attributes of work ethic, innovation, leadership, etc., you might hear about a special person or persons, a mentor or mentors who shaped the successes you admired.
  • Be your best

    What does being your best mean to you? Can you work on improving yourself? Is there a version of you which you have yet to discover? Always try to think big! Assess your patterns of thinking. Think about the ways great leaders think. The thoughts in your mind go far in defining what you do and how you view yourself. You’re going to face challenges in life but there’s always hope. Keep a positive attitude and your entire existence will work to becoming the greatness you have in your mind.
  • The key to revitalizing the squadron: The supervisor

    The 21st Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. David L. Goldfein, announced in 2018 the need to focus on the squadron. He said, “The squadron is the beating heart of the United States Air Force; our most essential team.” Goldfein, like many others, had witnessed the gradual decline of the squadron during his career and recognized that in order for the Air Force to continue as the worlds’ premier fighting force, we needed to refocus on what made us great in the first place and revitalize the squadron!