My leadership perspective

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Deanna Peil
  • Former NCOIC, Mental Health Flight
Editor's Note: This article was written when Sergeant Peil was deployed and published in the April-June 2011 edition of "Enlisted Corps Roll Call - A Newsletter of the Air Force Medical Service Enlisted Corps." She is no longer stationed at Malmstrom Air Force Base.

From the outside looking in, the medical Airman appears to have it easy. Well, at least that was my opinion prior to cross training into a medical career field three years ago.
Within my short period of time as a medic, I have learned that there is a subtle difference that makes that medical Airman unique from peers who work across the base.

One of the most unique aspects that I have learned while working in the Medical Treatment Facility, is that there are three types of leadership Airmen follow.

The first type of leadership is the one that can be found everywhere across base. These groups of people are your Commanders, Superintendents, First Sergeants, and Noncommissioned Officers in Charge. They provide guidance on mission standards, the vision of the MTF, and various other requirements to sustain a unit. The second type of leadership an Airman must abide by are the orders of the doctors and nurses appointed over them. These individuals guide the Airmen on specific tasks within a spectrum of care that the Airmen are trained on. They oversee the assigned duties an Airman does on a daily basis. The third type of leadership an Airman follows is very subtle, but does exist. This type of leadership is found within the Airman's peers at work.
Although not appointed on paper, there is an Airman among their peers that individuals turn to for advice about job knowledge, processes, and even about personnel matters. This is the Airman that does not ask for praise when they help another Airman out or volunteers to stay late so everyone else can go home. This type of leader is unique because their leadership in not defined by the stripes on their sleeve, but by the content of their character.

Through my experience as a medical Airman, I have learned how difficult it can be. A medical Airman is expected to follow different leadership at any given time and most times simultaneously. I have had leaders that inspired me to be a better person and leaders who I have learned the things you should not do. As a medic I have had the opportunity to grow from the multitudes of leadership I have received. My biggest growth has come from the third type of leadership a medical Airman has.

They have made me a better leader and given me the inspiration to hopefully become the leader that others will come to not because I am in charge but by the content of my character. A medical Airmen is unique, because they are offered the regulation of their commander, the guidance from the doctors and the mentorship from their fellow Airmen.