New themes teach to Educate, Innovate, Instruct
By Major Ed Watson, 14th Flying Training Wing Commander's Action Group
/ Published March 01, 2007
COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --
Educate, Innovate, and Instruct...These three words sum up the Colonel Dave Gerber's, 14th Flying Training Wing Commander, pillars for the BLAZE Team.
Educate: It's our reason for being at Columbus AFB. With every Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training graduation you are doing your part to help replenish the combat capability of today's Air Force. But there is another side of the coin. Foster an attitude of learning and continuous improvement for your family, airmen and your self.
In a December issue of Silver Wings, Colonel Gerber wrote, "Education is our number on priority with the local community". Authority was also given to squadron commanders to designate local schools as alternate work places for tutoring and other involvement. People drive continuous improvement. Encourage and enable them. From Billy Mitchell to the Balkans great people leveraging the most advanced technology is what has set our service apart from others.
Innovate: It's simply making things better than they were before. The BLAZE 21, which is our version of Air Force Smart Operations 21, programs are the transformational tool senior leaders have given us to change the Air Force. It's unprecedented in military history that airmen are empowered to affect the entire service. This isn't intended to be another "office" to set up. But rather a management discipline that targets continuous improvement as well as eliminating waste. LEAN principles not only translate to the work place, but also your home. If you would like to learn more or get involved, the base library has a complete LEAN learning center or ask your group representatives.
Instruct: Nobody forgets a teacher and when we think of instructors, many airmen are predisposed to think of only those on the flight line. This couldn't be further from the mark. If you wear the blue suit, we are all instructors or will be in time. Some will teach large formal classes like Aerospace Physiology others may teach a small informal group of airmen at the fire station. Supervisors at every level should be grooming airmen to instruct, growing leaders who thoroughly understand their work, live the philosophy and teach it to others. The development of instructor culture is no small challenge, because it requires reflection and action on our part.