Year of Leadership: Game Time

  • Published
  • By Maj. Roy Collins
  • 341st Missile Security Forces Squadron commander
It's "game time!" Although we hear this often, most people fail to see the amount of dedication and effort it takes to get prepared for the "game." Most people sit back and watch it from the sidelines, in the comfort of their living room or from behind their desk.
When I was asked to do an article for the Year of Leadership series on education and training, I wondered why, as a Security Forces commander, I was not asked to write about something like leading troops into battle. However, I quickly realized that education and training are directly related to leading troops into battle. Without proper education and training, our Airmen will not be ready for their "game" and quite possibly, may not survive. 

It's game time again for us, Malmstrom AFB. The timeout is over. 

As we prepare for our Limited Nuclear Surety Inspection, let's reflect for just a moment on how we arrived at this point. We have enjoyed success over multiple inspections and have dominated the commands highest level of awards for mission success and accomplishment. Did we get complacent, a little too comfortable in our previous achievements? It's fact that we have the best of the best here at Malmstrom. But here we are, with two minutes left in the fourth quarter and we are down by seven points. 

We, in the ICBM world, are entrusted everyday with our nations' most valuable asset. To live up to this type of trust can be a challenge. To meet this challenge, we educate and train our personnel to strictly adhere to the checklists and to follow procedure. However, this is not something we do just to spin up for an inspection. This must be our everyday way of life. 

As I tell my daughter all the time, as she prepares for her middle school games, you have to practice the same way you would play a real game. Of course, nothing can replace the intensity of a real game or an actual inspection, however, if we've practiced hard every day and not skipped a step here or there because it's "just" an exercise, we will be equipped to handle anything that comes our way. We should demand perfection every day, not just in preparation for an inspection. Achieving such a standard can only be done through educating ourselves on the guidance, procedures and processes. This is practiced through a series of exercises and evaluations while making the necessary corrections along the way. Across the base, I have seen many leaders step up to this challenge and it makes me proud just to be a part of the team. 

It's the fourth quarter now for Malmstrom AFB and the final minutes are ticking off the clock. It is up to every single Airmen, from airmen basic to colonel, to ensure our education and training process will not just guarantee a win, but it will ensure that the score will never be this close again! 

This is a team effort and unlike most sporting events, in our ICBM world, no one is on the bench. Are you ready to catch the touchdown pass in the end zone?