The Wingman Concept

  • Published
  • By MSgt Barbara Wood
  • 75th Logistics Readiness Squadron
"Wingman, Leader, Warrior. I will never leave an Airman behind." "Airmen taking care of Airmen."

We have heard these words for a few years now. Has this become another complacent answer or do we really understand what it means? We all have our own definitions of a wingman but essentially a wingman is one who helps you achieve success and overcome obstacles and stressors in life. In today's Air Force, our manning seems to fall shorter each year and the demand (stress) on us seems even greater as we cope with everyday situations at work and at home as well.

It is up to us to recognize when we or our fellow airmen need help and step in. Signs of stress and suicide should not be dismissed. Neither should senseless risks to life and limb because of improper safety and irresponsible behavior. This help can come in the form of reaching out to a friend, supervisor, commander, or a trained professional such as the chaplain, family advocate, or mental health provider.

Being a wingman includes family as well. They face many stresses in life while their loved one is deployed. It is up to us to reach out and let them know that we are here for them. This wingman concept works two fold. It lets them know they have "family" they can come to and it will ease the mind of our wingmen across the "pond" so they can focus on the mission.

"Wingman, Leader, Warrior. I will never leave an Airman behind." This is not a complacent answer. It follows us beyond military service, it is our way of life "and I will not FAIL."