Leadership equals responsibility

  • Published
  • By CMSgt Harry Viel, Jr.
  • 319th Air Refueling Wing command chief
Leadership takes many forms. But one critical element in any form of leadership is taking care of people. As supervisors, we help our Airmen seek out and take advantage of educational and training opportunities, put them in for awards and help make them competitive for promotion. However, taking care of people doesn’t stop when the work day ends. 

We also have a responsibility to make sure people are taken care of in their private lives. By watching for signs of stress, illness and other problems, we become better supervisors. 

Get to know your troops personally. Find out what makes them tick, whether they are energetic or shy, and how they respond to stress. Without that knowledge, you’ll find it difficult, if not impossible, to know when something is wrong with them. The sooner you can identify a problem, the sooner you can get them help. 

It’s also important to note that looking out for each other isn’t just a matter of rank or position; it’s a matter of being a good Wingman. 

By working together day after day, Wingmen are able to tell when someone needs help. By developing relationships and building trust with each other, we can ensure everyone is healthy and able to carry out the mission. 

It’s also important to know about the support services available on base. Whether it’s counseling or child care, knowing what direction to send someone can be a real help. 

We are all part of the same team, the same Air Force family, and we need to take care of each other. By getting to know each other, recognizing the signs of stress and learning where to get help, we can keep our entire family healthy and safe.