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  • Leadership Lessons: 'A' is for Airman

    When I joined the Air Force, I was amazed by the number of acronyms that are used in everyday conversation. When I started working in a Joint Environment four years ago there were even more acronyms used by our sister services that I had to comprehend. I learned that that the Army has seven core values: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service,
  • Vision Quest

    Many of you were probably surprised when Col. Lewis challenged Airmen to come forward and recite the vision and mission before the Wing Run Oct. 1 on that chilly fall morning.  Why would he do that?  Why is it so important to him that Airmen know these statements?  Aren't they just a bunch of words that get put on paper early in a commander's
  • Leadership Lessons: Why are we wasting all this money?

    Too often I hear this question, but when I ask for specifics most responses refer to the amount of dollars being spent and not what is being purchased. The assumption is "it's the end of the year and there's money to spend, spend it no matter what". As the base Comptroller, I can tell you it's just not that easy.The Air Force, like the rest of the
  • Leadership Lessons: Full range leadership

    After only five months of being assigned to the 348th Reconnaissance Squadron, I found myself on the hook to attend Squadron Officer School down at balmy Maxwell AFB, Alabama. After quickly accumulating over 450 total hours in the RQ-4 Global Hawk, I saw the TDY as a vacation of sorts.I was only partially correct. Though I wasn't quite working the
  • Leadership Lessons: Commander's guidance - Marine aviation style

    Over the years I have collected a number of articles, books, e-mails, thoughts, and notes on leadership. Very few have struck me harder than a straight forward guidance memo written by the commanding officer of a Marine attack squadron who gave his life serving our great nation on September 15, 2012. This commander lays out five areas of guidance
  • Leaderhship Lessons: Honesty, vision and team cohesion make the incredible possible

    Last fall, I deployed for what I have taken to describing as simultaneously the most difficult and the best experience of my professional life. I was part of a team of my brother and sister Public Health Service Commissioned Corps Officers that went to Liberia to be the first of four teams to staff an Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) specifically for
  • Leadership Lessons: From my dog

    Several weeks ago, the world became a lesser place when a valued member of the Duncan family went to run in fields eternal. Our faithful dog Rusty passed away at the age of 15, which would be 83 to a human. Just think of the leadership lessons one could learn if they sat and talked with or simply watched an 83-year old person go about their daily
  • Leadership Lessons: Bad apple adversity

    When I was first approached with the idea of writing about leadership and adversity, I wasn't sure I had something meaningful to contribute. You see, there has never been that one event in my life that sparked some kind of epiphany--an "ah-ha" moment that suddenly clarified all sense of purpose and direction. For me, learning leadership and
  • Leadership Lessons: Season of change

    With summer comes change in the Air Force.  As we all know it is a huge PCS season and change is in the air.  Personally, we may be uprooting our lives from one base and reinstalling them in another. As organizations, our commanders, supervisors and coworkers are changing. It is a time where there is a natural opportunity to reevaluate what we are
  • Leadership Lessons: Preparedness

    Although I was never a boy scout, the concept of preparedness was instilled in me at an early age. This mindset has come in quite handy through my years growing up. My dad, like many fathers, thought it was important for a young man to be able to take care of himself and survive whatever is thrown at him which led to many lessons being learned