WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio --
Since its inception, the Airman’s Council has provided junior enlisted Airmen with the opportunity to meet other airmen and plan activities while developing a better understanding of what it means to work as a team. It also helps to address the personal and professional needs of the airmen involved.
Around the Air Force, the Airman’s Council has contributed to the well-being of Airmen at various levels of the command structure by bringing perspective to members around the force and helping to provide them with a means to reflect and reorient.
Airmen from the 445th Maintenance Squadron, working to replicate and reinforce the positive impact that the Airman’s Council has on unit effectiveness at the wing level, created their own version of the program at the squadron level. It shares many of the characteristics of the wing’s Airman’s Council and is heavily focused on squadron morale and unit cohesion.
This team development strategy is enhanced by the fact that the organization starts at the squadron level. Those involved hope that providing this opportunity for Airmen on the ground level, they can positively interact with and influence other squadrons and inspire Airmen from around the wing to also get involved.
“We want to build bonds between all our Airmen,” said Staff Sgt. Jamie Minnish, a Home Station Check shop crew chief with the 445th MXS and supporter of the morale group. “It is all about making an impact, and this group is a great start.
The intent is to do more than simply provide an outlet for Airmen to socialize. Its primary focus is bringing Airmen together to gain a better understanding and appreciation of their leadership capabilities and of their impact on the Air Force as a whole.
“This organization is about more than just creating something to occupy time,” said Senior Airman Michael Cage, a Home Station Check shop crew chief with the 445th MXS and co-originator of the squadron morale group. “We are spearheading and implementing this program to do our part in creating a culture of success. We want to make this thing grow and pass the positive energy onto other squadrons.”
The application of the morale focused Airman’s group at the squadron level certainly provides a more localized opportunity for the squadron’s Airmen to get to know each other better, improve their combined skills and more effectively prepare to tackle the squadron’s mission. One of the first things the morale group did was to approach other squadrons with thank you cards and donuts. They were able to reach across Air Force Specialty Codes and duty titles and interact with others who contribute to the overall mission.
“When everybody understands each other, communicates and establishes friendships, the mission benefits,” said Cage. “We want to build even more trust between our co-workers and make our squadron, group and wing that much stronger. Eventually that conscious effort will yield tangible results.”
The positive example set by the Airmen of the 445th MXS showcases the 445th Airlift Wing’s dynamic capabilities and concern for the progress and potential of every Airman.
Leadership is integral at every level and the ability of Airmen around the wing to cooperate and communicate reminds 445th members why it is necessary to promote teamwork and unit cohesion at every opportunity. While individual Airmen and their unique skillsets provide the means to tackle a diverse range of tasks, it is ultimately the ability to function as a team that brings these skills together and allows the wing to keep pace with the demands of the mission.