If I had to pick my favorite thing about being a leader it would be when my followers achieve something great! Everyday I am honored to work with amazing Airmen and many were once my direct reports. Many have since left the United States Air Force to pursue their talents and others have far surpassed the original career goals we discussed during countless mentoring and feedback sessions.
One former Airman of mine who makes me proud today was one of my Security Forces Instructors during my second tour at Vandenberg Air Force base. The team I led during that tour had all served in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom, many on multiple 365 day deployments. I had just returned to Security Forces from an assignment as an Airman Leadership Instructor and knew that because I had not deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, I must assemble a team of Airmen and Sergeants who had tactical wartime experience to ready the next wave of our Defenders who would go to Iraq and Afghanistan. One of my Sergeants, Chris Mason-Warren had just reported into the squadron from his previous base with a passion for teaching and real-world Defender experience. He was humble and quiet and I knew I needed him on our already sterling team. So in 2009, I did what any talent scout would do…I went to my Operations Superintendent and told him where this team with Chris on it would take our squadron 2-5 years after I left.
The 30 SFS dream team did just that…they readied hundreds of Airmen for deployment and several earned accolades for bravery and heroism. Several defended a base in Afghanistan from attack and I know the training they received from Chris and the team saved countless lives.
Fast forward to September 2018 and my former troop, now Mr. Mason-Warren is doing well in the civilian sector and has an opportunity to go even further in his civilian career. This is one of many examples I could write about here. I’m very lucky to be a part of their journey a big sister mentor who encourages them. Every follower you invest in will one day pay it forward and one day you may be the one they pay it forward to. My former and current troops can and will change the world for the better and that’s the most exciting thing to watch unfold.
When they acheive their goals and reach their full potential that is when your leadership as their leader is most felt!
Never stop pushing them to greatness!
Love & Leadership,