• Published
  • By MSgt. James Pickren
  • 501st Combat Support Wing Public Affairs
A last minute change to a deadline requires an award package be submitted by close of business the next day. Please keep in mind, this change does not account for today’s meetings, appointments, other taskers, and/or customer service aspects in your already packed schedule. Thankfully, the seemingly impossible turns into a reality in a unit with a culture of teamwork, a climate of support, and solid communication. Being part of a team that values and practices service before self and excellence in all we do allows me to call upon my teammates for assistance. Even though my team may have other objectives and deadlines, they still put service before self and willingly combine efforts, generate the package, and meet the new suspense. Ultimately, the energy put forth for one teammate will inevitably be returned to the rest of the team. When the team works together a sense of accomplishment can fill the air and morale soars when a member is recognized for their contributions. As a result, the reality of successful teamwork becomes apparent to each member and fuels motivation, resiliency, and cohesion.

Teamwork is “Work done by several associates with each doing a part but all subordinating personal prominence to the efficiency of the whole.” When I read this definition, I see a link between teamwork and our Air Force core values of integrity, service before self, and excellence in all we do. These values can be appreciated through personal acceptance and become evident in behaviors which go beyond individualism by connecting teams.

The SECAF, CSAF, and CMSAF have cleared the pathway allowing leaders at all levels to decrease extra tasks placed on members throughout our squadrons. However, there are still plenty of other jobs and tasks asked of each of us. There can be increased efficiency associated with good prioritization, but often times we still rely on help from others. I believe our missions are best executed as a result of quality teamwork.

Many days, tasks come from all directions and more often than not, there’s just not enough time to complete everything. Prioritization is essential which many times means some things should be delegated. Even now, I get so wrapped up in what’s directly in front of me I sometimes forget I’m surrounded by a team of Airman from which I can request help. Regardless if you’re a medic, cyber, defender, services, etc., the adage of two heads are better than one rings all too true. We rely on one another every day in one manner or another and doors open a little easier when we remember we are on the same team.

So here’s the message I’d like to relay to my teammates? The sense of belonging and connection within a team extends beyond physical space and location. Whether geographically separated in Norway or across the United Kingdom, there is always an Airman willing and waiting to help however possible. The mission we accomplish within our squadrons each and every day cannot, and will not, be successful without you and your contributions. I take comfort in knowing the Pathfinder team has my back and hope you do too!