Airpower comes from Airmen

  • Published
  • By Col. "Tip" Stinnette
  • 39th Air Base Wing Commander
This issue of the Tip of the Sword marks the sixth week since I joined the Incirlik family.
In the first issue, after joining the team, I told you I would attempt to spell out what I thought was important about being and leading Airmen or, more simply put, "What I Believe."

I went on to point out that my and our number one priority needed to be the importance of our people. Airmen are the gas that makes the Air Force go.

Over the last six weeks, I wrote about leadership components from building the DNA of Airmen, to striking balance and leveraging diversity in our lives, to cultivating pride in what we do through recognition. The theme throughout has been our installation motto: bring your courage, conviction and communication.

I would like to culminate the "What I Believe" series with some points we discussed in person over the last few weeks and are worthy of emphasis.

Readiness includes strength of character.
Being prepared involves more than having the proper equipment and training. It means being mentally and emotionally ready to endure war and hardship. Do not just memorize our core values ... live them. We intentionally say, "Integrity first."

As Airmen, our lives should reflect spiritual, physical and mental balance.
We should not have too much of one without the others. If we have this right, we will not have to worry about suicide rates.

Family is the most important thing you have.
We must nurture and sustain our families with vigor and passion. There is no mistake in the fact that our three "Fs," Family, Fitness and Focus, start with Family. When we ask you to go to war, we trust you have taken care of your family. By taking care of themselves in your absence, they will be taking care of you. One day, your family will end, and one day your job will end. Make sure your job ends before your family does.

Don't walk past a problem.
We are often in the mode of minding our own business, which is fine sometimes. However, when you see something wrong, correct it; do not just walk by.

Do not forget to back-brief the chain of command or anybody that needs to know. Merely ignoring a problem will not make it go away, nor will simply recognizing it. We need to leverage our resources to fix our trouble spots. We should not ignore something just because it is "not our problem."

Lead, mentor and coach.
We grow by addition by creating followers, but we grow by multiplication by creating leaders. Attitude, energy and enthusiasm are positively infectious. The stuff that makes quality of life is how we feel about our jobs and the pride we have in accomplishing the mission.

We take our cues from each other and that is what leadership, mentoring and coaching are all about.
We live in a digital world that often moves at the speed of heat and it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer velocity of information. The basics of analog leadership resonate even more in this digital world. The fundamentals of family, fitness and focus are the analog touchstones that should map us through the digits of the information age.

What I believe in is simple; I believe in the power of our Airmen and the courage, conviction and communication they bring to the job every day.