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Team cohesion equals success

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. -- Team cohesion equals success

By Lt. Col. David Hook
Commander,
5th Space Launch Squadron

The wing has been working tirelessly the past several months checking and double checking self-inspection programs, exercising deployment centers and honing contingency response actions in anticipation of the upcoming inspection. 

At this point, we should be transitioning from a preparation mindset toward posturing ourselves for successful execution. In other words, the practice is over, and now it's time for the playoffs! 

Coaches will tell you that cohesion, defined as the act of sticking together, is the key to success in any team sport. As Babe Ruth once said, "The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the club won't be worth a dime." 

If you doubt the importance of team cohesion, just consider the fate of the 2004 U.S. men's Olympic basketball team. 

Led by the likes of LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Allen Iverson and Tim Duncan, the 2004 Dream Team had been hastily put together just before the start of the Athens Games. Lacking unity, the hoopsters were strong on individual talent but weak on teamwork. The U.S. team wasn't really a team at all, but was an impressive collection of multi-million dollar MVP talent. 

During the course of the tournament, the importance of team cohesion became evident as the Americans were soundly defeated by their little known rivals from Puerto Rico. Without a single NBA player on its roster, the Puerto Rican team became only the second team in history to defeat the U.S. Olympic basketball team. The U.S. team would eventually lose two more games and return home without a gold medal. 

The lesson here is clear: to be successful, we must all work together as a single team with a single purpose. 

Take pride in the fact that you are a member of the greatest range and spacelift team in the world. Be confident that you know your duty better than anyone else. And finally, trust and demand your teammates will do the same - don't accept anything less. 

If you have prepared properly, cohesion is the final ingredient to our success!