Looking ahead as another year has gone by

  • Published
  • By George F. Jozens
  • Director, 75th ABW Public Affairs
Well, it seemed like yesterday when I decided to join the Air Force. Actually, it's been more than 29 years since I swore in at a recruiter's office at the Sioux City, Iowa, municipal airport, with my long hair and full beard. There are some things I've learned over those years that I just need to share. 

Every new year brings its share of challenges, but chances are you conquered last year's challenges and endured them successfully. 

So how do you get through this year? An optimistic attitude -- it will win you the world. Have you ever heard the expression "smiles are contagious?" Well, so is optimism. If you use a positive attitude in your daily work, others will notice. And the people you work with will not only notice your optimism, but they'll learn from it and emulate it. Once they start to work with a positive demeanor, all the work just might get done with those contagious smiles. 

While optimism is one needed thing, you also need teamwork. I'm not going to tell you that you need to be part of a team and a team requires everyone to work together -- you already know this. However, I'm going to tell you to take care of the people on your team. If you're the leader, boss, commander, supervisor or top dog, you need to ensure those people you work with are taken care of. Ensuring your people have the tools and resources is a given; the "taking care of" I'm talking about falls into those four parts of wellness you've heard about. The Wingman program focuses on the Four Pillars of Wellness -- social, spiritual, physical and emotional. Make sure your team, the team you're a part of, is fulfilling those pillars. If you're not a supervisor and you're one of Team Hill's most important people, any one of the Airmen on the base, you are still a Wingman. Take care of your teammate! 

Make sure you listen to your people. Understand them and try to find out why they're not happy -- whether it's something off-base, in the dorm, at work or home. Don't let their frustration build into rage. If someone you work with needs to fulfill one of those four pillars, find a way to help them do it. There are a lot of ways to whip a problem. Use those helping agencies on base, or use Military OneSource at (800) 342-9647, or online at http://www.militaryonesource.com. Call a chaplain or a first sergeant; the Air Force has people to "take care of" us. Sometimes just a little support and understanding will help your people be happier, more productive workers. 

Finally, we have a busy year ahead of us. Team Hill will continue to keep the war-fighter supplied with the materiel they need and we will send Team Hill warfighters to the fight. We will continue to support our teammates who have left the shop by picking up their duties or sending those packages. More than that, we will continue to go to monthly promotion ceremonies, quarterly awards ceremonies and the soon-to-occur annual awards to celebrate all the great things our team has done for the Air Force. We will induct new community people as our logistics center partners and call them Logstars, strengthening our team. We have a huge community event in June -- Air Force Week Salt Lake City -- teaching the people of Utah about today's Air Force. That week finishes with a base open house and Thunderbird performances where we will all be busy working to show off Team Hill. 

Remember as a team, with optimism and by taking care of our people and co-workers you'll be able to fulfill your part of the Air Force mission, the part you're charged with, and we'll be looking at the year 2010 sooner than you imagined. Happy New Year!