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  • Effective Communication

    Ask any leader to summarize their experiences with communication, and be prepared to receive numerous examples of success and failure resulting from effective or ineffective implementation. The importance of effective communication is seen in our everyday lives across multiple professional disciplines. Despite the importance, most of us never give it a passing thought or place enough emphasis on the impact poor communications can have on our daily lives. An example of the potential impact loss of effective communication can have is easily seen by reviewing one of the worst aviation disasters to date: the loss of two Boeing 747s at Tenerife, Spain in 1977. After an extensive investigation, poor communication was identified as a contributing factor to the mishap. Internal flight deck communication suffered due to personnel experience levels, crew perceptions and language barriers between native and non-native English speaking flight crewmembers.
  • Do you know where the organization is going?

    On June 20, 2019, when I assumed command of the 13th Space Warning Squadron, I not only stepped into the role of squadron command but also took the helm as the installation commander for Clear Air Force Station, Alaska. I was amazed by the scope of responsibility and the multitude of activity going on in this installation in the interior of Alaska. However, through a process of pulling together a diverse team with varied skillsets across the installation, we have been able to identify the key pillars that are critical to the success of the entire organization. Being a remote installation versus just a squadron, the key pillars for us are a bit more diverse than those of a typical unit. The seven pillars that we identified include: development and taking care of people, space operations, maintenance, support functions, fire protection, installation defense and total force integration. In addition to the active duty members of 13th SWS, Clear AFS is also home to two Alaska Air National Guard Squadrons.
  • We need you

    From day one in our Air Force careers, we discuss the challenge of how to balance the mission and our people. “Mission first, people always,” or, “take care of your people and they’ll take care of the mission,” are common schools of thought. But one thing is certain – our core value of service before self is the center focus regardless of which theory you subscribe to. Our people sacrifice daily by giving every ounce of what they have to accomplish the mission because it’s our way of life, and our freedom depends on it.
  • Are You Happy Now?

    Knocking out professional military education, or PME, by correspondence is a rite of passage for officers. Without PME complete, you take yourself out of the running for future promotions. Many officers sign up immediately after finding out about a promotion to avoid any stigma associated with doing PME “late.” PME by correspondence means spending a lot of evenings and weekends hitting the books, prepping for tests, and writing essays. The subject matter ranges from pretty interesting to drier than the Sahara desert, but one assignment I completed for Air War College, now called senior developmental education, really had an impact on me.
  • I Laughed

    I laughed. It was an awkward, brief laugh, but a laugh nonetheless. That was my first failure during the conversation, but not my last.
  • Building personal resilience

    We often hear the word resiliency, but what does it mean? There are multiple definitions of the word resilience: the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; the ability to be happy or successful after something difficult or bad has happened, and positive adjustment in the face of hardship.
  • Speak Life

    I was reminded recently how foolish it was to say as a child that “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” I didn’t believe it then, when I said it on the playground in response to a bully, and I don’t believe it now when I hear someone try to tear another down. Even back then, there were lines you couldn’t cross. The wrong poke became, “fight’n words!” For instance, you couldn’t talk about nobody’s Mama. Playtime ceased immediately and, as our General Goldfein says, “Fight’s on!” You just don’t mess with family. Guess what, you are my Family. And I will fight for you!
  • Peterson museum’s POW artifacts: A reminder of Airman resilience

    In the month of September, when our military honors our prisoners of war and missing in action, I always reflect on the Peterson Air and Space Museum’s collection of items brought to us from surviving World War II Airmen. Even though the use of airpower helped the Allied forces secure victory, this became the war in which more American Airmen were captured than any conflict before or since. Some brought back reminders of their imprisonment, and we’re fortunate to be able to share those reminders with our visitors.
  • Lawn care for life

    As the 21st Operations Group commander, there are many things I am passionate about. With a group encompassing 10 distinct squadrons operating at 21 different locations, we have Airmen partnering to perform our global missions 24/7, 365 days a year. Our missile warning, space surveillance, and space control missions are real-time critical for national security. Our nation and our allies count on us to succeed. These missions require readiness and a precision of duty that demands perfection.
  • The four paws of resilience

    Five-year-old me was riding along on my rusty BMX bike when a German shepherd charged toward me and knocked me straight off my bike and bit me. Luckily, the owner was there to call the dog off, or I probably would have been a meal for the beast. My relationship with dogs at that point was not what I would call positive, but little did I know at that time dogs would become a focal point of my resilience throughout the rest of my life.
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