Commentary by Lt. Col. William Angerman
22nd Space Operations Squadron commander
Everyone loves a winner. So does our Air Force.
Our Air Force mission statement charges us to Fly, Fight and Win in Air, Space and Cyberspace. Here, we operate every day in space and cyberspace and produce effects in all three warfighting domains. Our space and cyberspace mission environments are becoming more contested and congested. Obviously, our military, civilian and contractor Masters of Space have the desire and drive to win in all our engagements. Winning is part of our Air Force DNA, emphasized and echoed in the Air Force creed, extolled as part of our warrior ethos.
But, is winning simply about the outcome of a conflict? A tally of battles? I don’t think so. Winning is found not just in the ends, but in the means, too. Winning is something we do individually as Airmen, not just something the Air Force does (time after time). When we live out our Air Force Core Values of Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence In All We Do, we’re winning. The short version: Winning is not just a result, it’s a personal way of life.
We all have our own personal OODA (observe, orient, decide and act) loop that is the continuous way we make sense of and engage with the world around us. Being a winner is something we have to work at every day. It’s about living up to our values, being a good wingman, keeping a positive attitude, setting goals and achieving them and fostering professional relationships.
Since I was a second lieutenant, I’ve had a clip of paper visible from my desk that reminds me of the winning qualities to which I aspire. My own personal philosophy, leadership style and the Air Force culture I strive to instill in my people and mission teams, have been influenced by these examples:
Difference Between Winners and Losers:
“If it’s to be, it is up to me”
Translate dreams into reality
“Let’s find out”
Part of the solution
Work harder than losers
“I was wrong”
“I’ll plan to do that”
“I’m good, but not as good as I can be”
Listen to what others have to say
Are willing to pay the price
Learn from others
“There ought to be a better way”
Always expect success
“I can’t help it”
Translate reality into dreams
Part of the problem
Are always too busy
“It was not my fault”
“I’ll try to do that”
“I’m not as bad as a lot of other people”
Wait until it’s their turn to talk
Expect it on a silver platter
Resent their colleagues
“That’s the way it’s always done”
Complain about others
Talk about it
Always expect failure
As it has always been since the Air Force’s inception, our people are our most valuable and powerful resource. Every Airman brings their skills, experience and commitment every day to accomplish their mission as part of a team. I salute the men and women of Schriever as they strive to be the best — and winning!