March 2013

  • The Best Officer's I know Do This...

    March 18, 2013
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    By Cadet Ben O’Neill

    The best officers that I have seen conduct themselves in a humble and serving manner. People often times get caught up in themselves and their accomplishments so it is easy to slip into a state of self-glorification. It is not hard for one to look at what they have overcome and view themselves as someone who is better than others. This is human nature. We like to reap the rewards for what we have done. If you work hard, you should be able to enjoy the glory, right? Wrong. This is the trap that unfortunately many officers fall into. They look at what they have accomplished without even stopping to consider all of the people that got them there.

    What I have seen in officers that I truly have a genuine respect for is humility. A true leader takes their accomplishments, and instead of receiving the credit which is given to him, deflects that praise to those surrounding him. We can never take full credit for our victories in life simply because the credit is never fully due to us. What about the people in our lives that got us there or the people that helped us achieve that victory? Are we to neglect all that they did and simply take the credit for ourselves? Great leaders humble themselves, and also in doing that they serve as well.

    Our lives are not solely about us. A true leader dedicates their time and wisdom to help those that they are in charge of. It is your duty as a leader to help those under you succeed. Think about all the people in your life that were in charge of you. Whether it be a mom, dad, coach, or boss. Those individuals help you grow into the person you are today. You can never take all of the credit for something because you were in some way, shape, or form influenced by those over you.

    Being a leader demands a lot. It is not easy to invest in the lives of those under your command. You often sacrifice time, energy, and resources to train or help your subordinates. It is a humble person with a focus on service who will make the sacrifices necessary to invest in themselves in others. Maybe giving up your time to train or help your subordinates is not the first thing on your to do list. But it is what we as leaders need to be doing. At Detachment 207, our program would fall apart if our GMC, POC, and Cadre refused to put in the time to train one another.

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  • Top 20 Ways to Prepare for Field Training

    March 6, 2013
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    By Cadet Craig Miles

    1.  Run when it is hot outside and run for long distances. Run while the sun is at its peak or when its 85+ degrees (drink plenty of water), and run for long distances of 6 miles +.

    2.  While at Field Training actively drink and refill your camel back as much as possible.  You will be working a hard 17 hour day.  Make sure you always find time to refill your camel back.

    3.  If you are injured, in pain, or have gone more than 3 days since your last bowel movement tell your Cadet Training Assistant/Flight Commander.  They are there to keep you safe and active.  There is no point hiding an injury that will later get you kicked out from Field Training.

    4.  Practice memorizing people’s names. Field Training is a mine field full of Cadet Training Assistants expecting a greeting by name.

    5.  Get used to waking up at 0400 and going to bed at 2100. If you adjust your body now it will be no problem when you get there.

    6.  Purchase a small metal lock.  Not plastic, not a chain, but a straight up metal lock.  While at field training I had a lock with a thin wire covered in plastic.  One rotating Flight Commander knew these broke very easily so he stood there and yanked on my lock until it became inoperable. I received a From-17.  Heed my warning and get a strong metal lock.

    7.  Memorize the verbiage for everything. Reporting in, reporting in to the dining facility, preparing for an inspection, etc.  Verbiage is king.

    8.  Be prepared to take the test on the Airman’s Manual and Field Training Manual on Training Day 1.  Even if you don’t have everything memorized make sure you know where to find it if they allow you to use you manuals.

    9.  Be prepared to do ridiculous amounts of push-ups and sit ups.   You will be doing these every day in small and large increments.  I think we did 70 push-ups once followed by diamond push-ups.

    10.  Practice Superman Drills.  Race your friends to see who can switch uniforms the fastest.  Develop tricks and muscle memory when shedding you clothes in a hurry.

    11.  Practice Marching.   In Garrison is 98% column marching on large sidewalks and 2% everything else, Joint Forces Training Center is 98% column marching in route step and 2% everything else.

    12.  Practice Detail marching.  Detail: 2-4 Cadets marching together in a 2 by 2 square.  Detail commander is on the right or back right of the detail.

    13.  Realize that the goal of a group leadership project is not to complete the group leadership project. You are being tested on how well you lead.  Not on if you can figure out which wing is prepared for an inspection.

    14.  Practice, practice, practice verbally saying all the quotes from the Field Training Manual.  Doesn’t matter how well you may think you have the quotes memorized.  If you practice saying all of them out loud it will be much easier to spit it out when you have several cadet training assistants yelling in your face.

    15.  Maximize your attention to detail.  Pay attention to the little things in life everywhere.  When you’re walking to class or when you’re watching TV.

    16.  Remember the 5 P’s. (Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance) in everything that you do.

    17.  Realize they you will be part of a team and your Flight, Squadron, and Wing will be counting on you to show up prepared.  The moment you get there you will become part of a team.  Everyone will be relying on you to be able to properly do you job and you theirs.

    18.  Realize that at field training it’s the little things that get you through the day.  French toast for breakfast, smile checks during superman drills (my team would be frantically changing uniforms when one of us would stop, stare at everyone, and say SMILE CHECK!  We would then put on a goofy smile and some thumbs up and continue changing), or the fact that you’re becoming a lean mean Air Forcin’ Machine.  Don’t be locked on 24/7.  It is important to take pleasure in whatever you can.

    19.  Relax. It is impossible to know everything, but the more you know and the better you train and prepare the easier your life will be.  You can’t be 100% prepared for Field training.  Even if you knew everything there was to know the Flight Commanders and Cadet Training Assistants would still find ways to through a wrench in the gears of whatever you are doing.

    20.  Realize that Field Training is a game.  They are testing you to see how you respond.  You can either buckle under pressure or rise to the occasion.

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  • What is Diversity?

    March 6, 2013
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    By Cadet Alexander Cox

    I found it particularly interesting to read “Intolerable Tolerance” because I was able to compare my experiences in ROTC to the provided overview of socialization. As members of the Air Force, we are part of a unique organization, one whose purpose it is to protect America and its interests at a moment’s notice and without question. It is a frightening thing to think about the power that an organization such as ours has, not only in terms of the weapons we command but also the ability to shape the attitudes and beliefs of our trainees.

    “Socialization is the way our military takes immensely diverse and heterogeneous people from our population and recasts the as a single and homogenous type” (Lt. Col. Parco et al. 2012). The need for socialization stems from the reality that every service member is unique. If a more homogenous cross section of America were to represent the military’s recruits, the process of socialization would be less important. Yet this is where the strength of the Air Force lies. With great diversity comes an equally great selection of differing viewpoints and skillsets. This is what allows the military to fill the vast selection of jobs with capable soldiers. As seen in “Pearls before breakfast”, an astonishing number of people with an equally astonishing diversity of backgrounds passed by a world famous violinist masquerading as a street musician. Yet only a handful recognized his talent for what it was. The lack of optimal viewing conditions aside, this example is representative of the benefits of diversity. A more homogeneous slice of population may have had not a single person stop and listen; It took a wide range of backgrounds to recognize Joshua Bell for what he was. It is no stretch to compare this to a possible scenario in the military. What can go unnoticed by many may be very important, and a wide selection of backgrounds and skill sets ensures that is statistically unlikely to happen.

    I feel I would be doing the concept of diversity an injustice if I didn’t touch on the role it will have in the future. As our military grinds into the 21st century, I believe the focus should be less on promoting diversity, and more on how to properly socialize incoming recruits. This is the basic point that “Intolerable Tolerance” presents. Simply tolerating differences is not the key to maximizing our effectiveness as an organization. Proposing that we move away from discrimination as an organization is not the correct course of action either. The point that “discriminating judgments are useful only when they are tied to some level of performance” (Lt. Col. Parco et al. 2012), must be stressed.  If the proper values and attitudes can be instilled during training, toleration becomes superfluous. We are a merit based organization; the only thing that matters is one’s ability to perform a job. For our military to truly advance into a different age, a shift in thinking has to occur.

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