Tackling Adversity; Wingman Spirit Defined

Patrick AFB, Fla. -- We have many accomplishments in life and in the Air Force that make us proud.

We have 100% mission success, quarterly / annual awards, promotions, and many more accomplishments that highlight a successful career. However, we are also faced with setbacks occasionally when we do not perform as we wanted or planned.

How we react to these shortcomings is really the true test in life and in the Air Force. I believe the spirit and dedication of the true Air Force leader, warrior, and wingman comes out when faced with adversity.

In fact, football coach Lou Holtz once said "Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I'll show you someone who has overcome adversity."

Adversity tests our ability to bounce back from failures. My recommendation is to face the struggle head on--whether it is a PT test failure or a sub-par outcome on a project. Analyze what went wrong, develop a plan, and then re-execute. You can't get bogged down in the struggle or only focus on the end result.

A new chance to excel is always right at hand. Recognize misfortunes for what they are--new chances to perform at even higher levels.

When we have struggles, we must seek out others for guidance. This is why we all need mentors and have supervisors/leaders around us. More than likely, anything you are facing has been faced by those before us. Learn from those that have been there before. Seek out guidance from your mentors because that could very well be the key to your next success.

The one constant in life is change but I will also argue that adversity will always be present. You will not be able to avoid it. Don't fight it, but rather embrace it.

A positive attitude can go a long way in dealing with a setback. According to Martin Luther King, Jr., "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

So take a stand. It'll do you good.