Commentary by Chief Master Sgt. Lavon Coles
50th Space Wing Command Chief
Every day, I am amazed at the difference one Airman can make in the life of another Airman and equally amazed at the impact each of our Airmen has on mission accomplishment. While one Airman “stands the watch” at entry control points on our base, another analyzes communication’s maintenance trending data to ensure the reliability of our command and control systems. Yet another one Airman has the responsibility of operating on-orbit satellites. Whatever the duty or task, our Airmen (military and civilian) can be counted on to deliver pristine results. Not to be cliché, but our nation’s security and way of life depend on the American Airmen delivering their absolute very best every day, and deliver they will. And, while my confidence runs high in this area, there is sometimes a waning assurance in one of the most important areas of our profession — taking care of each other.
All too often, I hear the horror stories of sexual harassment or assault, physical assaults by one Airman against another and hostile work environments where faith and trust are violated. This is clearly an example of not taking care of each other and a position we don’t want any Airman to ever face. However egregious or ever so slight, the simplest breach of faith and trust we place in each other can have devastating consequences on our Airmen and the organization. Restoring faith and trust with our fellow Airmen should be the utmost priority if a unit is ever in this position.
Consider the following: Are we doing enough to take care of each other? Are we striving to make a difference in the lives of those we interact with every day? Or, are we so caught up in the demands of work that we forget to pause and attend to our fellow Airmen who we fight side by side with every day? During the Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III’s visit to Schriever AFB July 19, he highlighted the importance of common sense, communication and caring. Our charge is to do more than just nod in agreement when we hear these words spoken. Rather take action; strive to always be the “One” Airman who wants to make a difference in the lives of your fellow Airman and a difference maker in ensuring mission accomplishment. It takes every Airman (military and civilian) to make our Air Force operate and to maintain the greatest operational effect today’s military can offer. We at the 50th Space Wing do just that, Command Satellites to Deliver Decisive Global Effects, one Airman at a time. One Airman can make all the difference.