Fortune Favors the Bold
By Capt. Jason Richards, 366th Maintenance Group
/ Published April 28, 2011
MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- The history of the 366th Fighter Wing is full of examples of boldness. You need not look any further than the origins of the "Gunfighter" name to uncover innovation birthed for urgent needs.
Certainly, the original Gunfighters endured hardships and faced the risk of failure, yet stepped up to the challenge and succeeded.
Many say today's Airmen operate in a one mistake, choose-and-you-lose environment, and are left asking themselves "why take a risk, why be bold?"
This is simply false logic. In fact, average Airmen are bold every day.
It seems good things happen to "go-getters" and everyday "risk takers." Ask any of the fighter wing annual award winners, the senior master sergeants recently promoted to chief, the "below-the-zoners," or even the average technician who comes to work every day to do their job. My guess is very few would look back on their career and state they were bold, or how they constantly persevered through insurmountable odds. Rather, they would humbly state they were just doing their job − defending our country one step, one job and one person at a time.
However, there is a strong caution: lean too far forward and you will fall on your face. Ask any aircraft technician about a Quality Assurance member lurking in the darkness ready to pounce, or the call from the First Sergeant with the subsequent dreaded appointment with the Commander. Sometimes, the world of aircraft maintenance is an unforgiving environment. Unfortunately, a slight miscalculation or a subtle out of calibration measurement translates to bad things happening to good people. Many would say, "to stay alive is to stay out of sight."
Most people believe boldness is usually associated with large tasks, facing insurmountable odds or long shot opportunities.
The truth is, boldness does not need to be a large task -- being bold can be an everyday occurrence and it's well within the average Airman's talents. An example is filling a leadership gap such as stopping someone from getting injured, volunteering to be a designated driver or stepping up to the challenge of being on the Base Honor Guard.
While these arguments can tug at our emotional strings and keep us in our comfort zone, they do not bode well with our sacred duty to protect our way of life. They do not match up well with our wing's history and motto, and are inconsistent with our core values of integrity, service and excellence. So remember Gunfighters, next time you face a tough leadership challenge or a difficult situation, fortune favors the bold.
One more thing ... you can never go wrong if you "Ride Hard, Shoot Straight and Always Speak the Truth!"