Wing Run Question

  • Published
  • By Anomyous
  • 39th Air Base Wing
Question: Is there anyway we can change the current guidelines on the wing run?

It seems that we continue to say it's a "team effort", but it doesn't feel that way. If I can pass my PT test with a good or excellent, I'm excited, and I don't think it should be frowned upon when I don't finish the Wing and/or Group run with my squadron.

I always do my best to keep up, and there is only one time in my whole tour here that I walked (only for like two minutes) during one of the runs, and it was because I was so frustrated that we would start the run like a bat out of hell and expect everyone to keep up. I think your intention is in the right place as far as trying to keep everyone together as a team, but when it gets to squadron levels, the Squadron CCs act like we are in some type of race, and the run becomes a, "Did you see how far back such and such squadron was".

Then, the CC doesn't try to hide the fact that they want to keep up closer with the rest of the squadrons, which is not supposed to be the intent of the Wing run. In trying to keep up with you, the CCs loose site of the intent of the run, which is to boast morale and esprit de corps, and finish as a team. I don't feel they should have the right to call out members of their flight who fell out, especially if we are not walking. What if we continue doing the Wing and Group runs, but not in formation? I think it will still accomplish the team building effort, but in a different way. For the most part, I think we all try our best and those with similar run times can encourage one another.

This would make a more cohesive team as a wing vs running as a squadron with the same people we see everyday. Then you can continue to run your 2-minute mile (smile), while I run at a pace comfortable for me. We can all stretch together and wait for the last person to come in before dispersing and the Squadron CCs can race each other at their own expense, not the squadrons. Since the Wing run is being increased by a half mile, I think a change in the way we conduct our run would really help our morale.

I'd also like to address a comment/question addressed to the Action Line referencing Security's Forces "Motivation" chant. I was disappointed in the answer provided and I understand there are times when people must agree to disagree, but I don't feel this is one of those occasions. While we know you don't intentionally try to leave people behind, we are left behind. I've never had anyone laugh at me when I didn't achieve a goal I so desperately wanted and tried to call it motivation.

To make matters worse, there was a comment made within SF that went something like, "The person who wrote that comment to the Action Line must have been a fat female". This proves to me that the chant is not being done to motivate anyone, only to humiliate them. By no means does their chant bother me, however, if bothers one person, it should not be allowed. On an over exaggerated scale, it would be like making a sexual comment. Even if it doesn't bother the people having the conversation, if one person is offended, it should stop. I've never laughed at any of my subordinates when they didn't accomplish their goal because I'm here to encourage them not discourage them (what SF's chant does to some people). If you want to continue to allow Security Forces to say their chant, that's great, but please don't call it motivation. I hope it was just a bad choice of words.

Response: Let me just cut to the chase. We'll put the Security Forces Squadron right after me and the wing staff ... I think that will minimize their counting. I will also ask the squadron to try to come up with a more constructive chant. I have talked with our squadron commanders and told them that we are not concerned with the distance between units and they should use the run to build individual unit cohesion.

Demeaning personnel is counter to this direction, they know it, and your action line reinforces the point. While on the surface your idea about not doing the run in formation may make sense for individuals, it is not consistent with our profession. Our profession depends on unit cohesion and team building. As an aside, we increased the distance by a quarter of a mile with the idea of pursuing continuous improvement. As far as the pace of the run, we are now using 9 minutes and 45 second per mile as our goal.

This amounts to just under a 15 minute mile and a half, which straddles between a poor and good PFT rating for most of us. The pace of the run is sort of like the three bears...for some it will be too slow and for others it will be too fast...the objective is to make it just right for the majority. Finally, I am sorry that my last action line response on this topic disappointed you. Motivation can come in multiple forms, both negative and positive. Clearly we should be all about positive motivation and I am committed to building that kind of climate in our wing runs. Let me know if this response still disappoints you and I will do my best to make it better. I look forward to our next wing run together.