Team spirit

  • Published
  • By Col. "Tip" Stinnette
  • 39th Air Base Wing Commander
This story comes from Florida which is chalk full of staunch baseball fanatics. A few days before a big Marlins game, two supporters decided to show their loyalty and team spirit by constructing an enormous paper Marlins banner.

Naturally, they wanted to display their efforts prominently so they chose to drape the banner across the Metro Rail overpass where it crossed a major thoroughfare. Unfortunately, their plans were not altogether complete. Neither had the foresight to check the Metro Rail schedule. Lacking essential knowledge of the train timetable, they hung the banner just as the automated Metro thundered toward them and struck them both. The banner was reportedly unharmed.

Team spirit without forethought can be a dangerous combination. Clearly we are all about showing our team spirit, especially when we have inspectors on station to impress.

But the kind of team spirit we need is the kind which enhances mission accomplishment every day. A couple of weeks ago I asked our commanders to walk the dorm areas on Saturday morning to pick up the trash and empties. My hope was to demonstrate leadership and team spirit by walking the talk. I told the commanders that people would see them and that would send a big message. Later that day, one of the commanders told me that he only saw a couple of people while picking up trash. My response back to the commander was, "it is not who you see watching you but rather who you don't see watching you." Team spirit is much the same ... it is the spirit that we exercise day to day in getting the mission done that speaks the most ... not the spirit that we put on for show.

So, as we round the bend in our inspection, do what you do every day ... exercise your commitment to the mission with spirit not for show but with deed. Be all about ensuring freedom's future as a team!