Be your own wingman

  • Published
  • By Gen. Frank Gorenc
  • U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander
It is truly a demanding time to serve overseas. This command continues to execute at a high ops tempo with new and enduring missions in Europe and Africa, providing forward-based combat airpower in an environment tempered by fiscal uncertainty and restricted budgets.

While the impact of the recent government shutdown is still fresh in our minds, I want us all to anticipate and think about how we overcome the next challenge and still meet our mission.

We know challenges confront us in various shapes and sizes, but in my view, overcoming challenges almost always starts with personal responsibility.

As your commander, I am responsible for providing you the opportunity to succeed professionally. But, reaching your personal potential and getting the mission done despite challenges is really up to you.

As Airmen, we have been afforded the highest-quality education, training, and support programs available. While you are seemingly well positioned for success, it's up to you to take personal responsibility at home and at work.

Consequently, I am asking you to STEP UP to the challenges you face.

Leadership is 24/7. When a subordinate performs below standards, provide immediate feedback. If you are struggling financially, get help and adjust your living standards. As you approach personal and professional development opportunities, take advantage of the benefits the Air Force offers you. If you recently returned from a deployment, give your family the time and attention they need.

I am also asking you to exercise the courage to STEP IN and prevent situations from heading in the wrong direction.

To me, personal responsibility means stepping up, stepping in, taking care of yourself, and taking charge of situations and areas that matter most - your career, your safety, your health, your family ... your Air Force.

I am a big believer in our Airmen and family support programs. I am also an avid supporter of the wingman culture we have developed over the years. We are social beings and we are stronger as a community. But, I firmly believe you are the one person best able to STEP UP, STEP IN and take charge of everyday challenges and opportunities.

I have been in the Air Force for more than half of its existence, and I have seen my fair share of challenges and crises. I know change can be difficult and these fiscally tight times have created a lot of uncertainty at work and at home. But in my experience, Airmen always prevail because we are innovative, we are fighters, and because we take charge when challenges arise.

Step up, Step in - take personal responsibility.