Our greatest weapon system: Our people

  • Published
  • By Maj. Karen Dayle-Horsley
  • 341st Force Support Squadron
By the nature of leading any organization, there will be challenges and how we adapt to a changing environment remains a top priority. Leaders must channel incredible human capital energies to respond to the nature of our combat missions, home station organizational realignments, budget cuts, Congressional mandates and forecasting future conflict requirements. In the military, we have plans for everything and plans for the plans in case things don't go as we anticipated. Thus, it is important that we instill adaptable leadership qualities as an enduring training priority. Our Airmen are our greatest weapon system and as technology changes the importance and cohesiveness of our team remains consistent. Throughout my career, I continue to be amazed and impressed by how we face and overcome these dynamic environments.

When our Airmen have the peace of mind that their families are taken care of while they are serving in the missile field, base or deployed environments, it means that they can focus on their piece of national security. Since our families and friends are part of the mission focus, it means we can expand upon the capabilities that volunteers, Key Spouses, counselors, Family Readiness and Youth programs bring to the fight.

Furthermore, the resiliency that we instill through recreation, social activities and fitness programs attest to the value of a work and life balance. Quality of life programs are not about efficiency but serve as the glue that binds our teams together and recharges our Airmen's fortitude to press through the stresses of change. We must remember that we lead humans not emails and that we need to give them breathing room so they can be ready to face whatever mission challenges are next.

In summary, our greatest challenge is our strategy for our greatest weapon system which is our people. The strength of our institution lies in how well we posture our Airmen for the duties they are currently filling and how we are growing them to fulfill increased responsibilities in the future. We must trust our peers, co-workers and subordinates in the construct of a learning environment and robust support network so we will be posed for the next generation of Air Force leaders.