Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

Wingman Day creates foundation for knowing your people

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jacob Morgan)
Tech Sgt. Wayson Leaverton, 21st Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician, sets up the EOD mini golf course March 28 as part of a team-building exercise during Wingman Day, which allowed engineers to learn about the squadron’s various functions and the people who perform them. The 21st Space Wing held its Wingman Day to highlight the four pillars of wellness, which are physical, mental, social and spiritual fitness.

By Senior Airman Jacob Morgan

21st Space Wing Public Affairs

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The 21st Space Wing held its biannual “Wingman Day” March 28, with a plan of stressing the Comprehensive Airman Fitness four pillars of wellness — physical, mental, social and spiritual.

Comprehensive Airman Fitness was designed to help create more positive behaviors in the force and help Airmen, civilians and their family members become more resilient through the idea of holistic health. Wingman days represent a pause in the day-to-day routine to reflect on CAF and strengthen unit health.

While the 21st SW has been observing Wingman Day since 2005, its principles have long been in practice without the title.

“The whole point of Wingman Day is to get to know your Airmen,” said Beverly Price, 21st Space Wing Wingman Day organizer. “It is giving people a break to have face-to-face communication to build a foundation of trust, camaraderie and team spirit.”

For Chief Master Sgt. Robert Hudson, 21st Mission Support Group superintendent, who spent Wingman Day with the 21st Force Support Squadron, the ideas of physical, mental, social and spiritual fitness were taught to him as a young Airman through a foundation of trust and camaraderie. As he described the mentors in his life, one thing stood out — relationships formed from care and built on trust.

“I remember Master Sgt. Ronald Johnson; he was my very first supervisor,” said Hudson. “He gave us feedback before there was official feedback; he taught me to treat people with respect. He would always take care of us and put us in the position to excel. Everything I am today, I learned from him.”

He went on to say there will always be things that stress him out, but all four pillars — physical, mental, social and spiritual — are part of his daily routine because of the relationship and lessons he learned from Johnson.

The story peaked in what most enlisted members consider the culmination of an enlisted Air Force career. When Hudson attained the rank of chief master sergeant at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., he invited and paid for the travel of Johnson to thank him for all he had done.

Transitioning to today, Hudson uses those same lessons he learned from Johnson in his personal and professional life.

“I have always told my supervisors my priorities are God, family and the Air Force,” said Hudson. “If I am right with God, I take care of my family, I will do great at my job and I will be winning every day.”

Hudson said his job is to make sure each person he supervises passes him in knowledge, rank and experience. If he fails in that, then he believes he fails the person.

“I don’t always need to put fancy titles on the things I and [all mentors and supervisors] should be doing,” said Hudson. “I should already know about your well-being.”

Well-being is what Comprehensive Airman Fitness is about. It places a title on what members of the Air Force have been practicing since the inception of the force.

Price said they should call Wingman Day, “Human Dynamics 101,” because it gets people together and gives them an opportunity to interact, to practice the same things Johnson practiced when he worked with Hudson in the beginning of his career.

“No matter what position I have been in, I want my people to know I care about them, that we have mutual respect,” said Hudson. “The more they know I genuinely care about them — know what they care about — the more successful we will all be professionally and personally. How successful your people are will determine how successful the mission and the work center will be.”

To Top