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  • Planting my first tree on Arbor Day

    Arbor Day is a holiday in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant and care for trees, but that holiday didn't mean much to me until I participated this year. As a photographer, my job has been documenting the local and base leadership putting a shovel of dirt into an already planted tree.  I now have a greater understanding of the
  • 5/6 Alliance: Developing Airmen to improve Malmstrom

    The 5/6 Alliance is a private organization open to all senior airmen who have completed Airman leadership school, staff sergeants to include selects, and technical sergeants assigned to Malmstrom.Our goal is to better the community relations on and off base, to be mentors and role models for our younger Airmen; as well as maintain an open
  • Seize the chocolates

    As a wise mother once said, "Life is like a box of chocolates, Forrest.  You never know what you're going to get."  Most of us can relate to this truth.  Things happen that throw our lives off of "the plan."  For example, when I was five, "the plan" was to become a space-faring, fire/crime-fighting pirate.  Then growing up happened.  More recently,
  • LGBT Pride Month

    One of the greatest aspects of the United States military is that people of all different beliefs, races, religions, et cetera, can come together to support and defend the constitution.  Our military is not made up of just one type of people, but of all the people who live in our great nation.  For too long, many people of the lesbian, gay,
  • Humility in effective leadership

    Constant change and adaptability are a consistent theme throughout history for military leaders.  A well-known anecdote among military men and women is "the plan never survives first contact with the enemy."  The ability to change the plan for the circumstances you face is a unique skill and critical for an effective leader. The Air Force published
  • Remembering who you are

    As this year is my 28-year anniversary in the United States Air Force, I'm often asked what motivates me to continue serving. The answer is simple, I remember who I am.Whatever your role in the USAF - enlisted, officer, civilian or contractor - we can all get caught up in our "daily routines" of fighting next-day suspenses and administrative
  • If you’re going to give...give your best

    How do you answer the question, "What is your purpose for being part of the greatest Air Force in the world?" Is your answer: love for country; it's a family tradition; it was a way out; educational opportunities; a steady paycheck/benefits; the need to belong to something greater than yourself; or something totally different?Regardless of your
  • Meandering Montana: Sluice Box adventures

    With 147,000 square miles of pristine forests, lakes and rivers, Montana is home to some of the finest outdoor activities nature lovers can experience. Scattered throughout the state are vast national parks, expedition centers and hiking trails, all of which are focused on providing those with an adventurous spirit an outlet to explore.For Airmen
  • Focused on the future, with a clear vision

    Since I can remember, I have always struggled with my sight. My vision was horrible since birth and had affected every aspect of my childhood growing up. My grades in school were terrible, participating in sports was a challenge and even every-day ordinary activities were frustrating.For the longest time, I thought this was normal and didn't even
  • It's not about you

    Perhaps the most simplistic yet important leadership lesson I know is "it's not about you."  We've all met or worked with a self-centered careerist who operates at the expense of their subordinates.  It's what the U.S. Army refers to as "toxic leadership."  Classic toxic leaders focus almost exclusively on themselves, and their own careers tend to
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