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Memorial Day: Remembering our Fallen Wingmen

Memorial Day: Remembering our Fallen Wingmen

It’s 7:00 pm on a warm and sunny day in Atlanta. It’s Memorial Day, 2007, and like many of you, I had a great time at a barbeque/pool party with some friends. We shared some laughs, good food, and relaxed. Life is good. As citizens in the U.S. and abroad, it’s easy to forget those who have paid the ultimate price so that we can live free. We go about our lives and reap the benefits of the sweat and sacrifice ...

TUMBLEWEED: Building Trust through Effective Communication

TUMBLEWEED: Building Trust through Effective Communication

Lack of communication can take the most carefully laid plans and destroy them with the corrosion of doubt. It can transform the most confident person into a “second-guesser” and that’s bad for everyone on your team. I remember flying a combat mission in Iraq when I lost radio contact with my wingmen. I was flying in the “dark.” Having no radio contact at 20,000 feet and separated from my wingmen by 10 miles on a night combat mission in hostile territory ...

Walk the Flight Line: Get Dirty with Your Troops

Walk the Flight Line: Get Dirty with Your Troops

When your squadron commander meets you at your jet, it’s normally not a good sign. “Waldo, we need to talk,” he said as he headed for the aircraft hangar. Had I messed up? Was I in trouble? I gulped. Was something wrong at home? “Waldo, Sgt. Tyler told me what happened before you took off this afternoon, and I am not impressed.” In an instant I knew what he was referring to. Just a few hours earlier before taking off on ...

Find your Ivan: A New Year’s Message from the Wingman

Find your Ivan: A New Year’s Message from the Wingman

A few weeks ago I lost a friend. Most of you don’t know him, and you never will. His name was Ivan Weinstock. And he was a wingman. Ivan was a consultant to OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety) and was instrumental in having me become a columnist for the magazine. I met him and his wife Sheila at the 2005 Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) Conference. An Air Force veteran, Ivan was inspired by my wingman message of trust and could ...

I Have the Aircraft! – Where Accountability Meets Action

I Have the Aircraft! – Where Accountability Meets Action

You’re at 20,000 feet and 550 knots in your F-16 and your instructor pilot (IP) just demonstrated a perfect offensive BFM (Basic Fighter Maneuver) engagement. Now, it’s your turn to show him what you’ve learned. He yells out on the radio, ‘You have the aircraft!” You respond, “Roger Sir, I have the aircraft!” and waits for you to shake the stick (meaning you’re now in control.) Are you really ready to fly that $30 million piece of machinery? Are you prepared, focused, and ...

MAY DAY…MAY DAY!!

MAY DAY…MAY DAY!!

"We’re each of us angels with one wing, and can only fly by embracing each other" Luciano De Crecenzo Mayday is the universally recognized call of distress. It’s a call you never want to make, but it could be the most important call of your life. Fighter pilots use it during extreme emergency situations – when we lose an engine, are getting prepared to eject from an un-flyable aircraft, or even when witnessing an emergency of one of our wingmen. Mayday translates to ...