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NEWS | Aug. 11, 2017

The true meaning of Wingman, Shipmate

By Navy Capt. Ed Hudson, commander Naval Support Activity Charleston

Given that the Air Force and Navy birthdays occur in September and October, respectively, it is appropriate to think on what it means to be a true Wingman and Shipmate in today’s force.


Today the United States military force is the most powerful force in history with a presence felt on the sea, on the land and in the air all around the world. Our diversity in people and jobs has expanded immensely as technology and warfare continue to evolve. Our military force operates forward to preserve the peace. However, we can never forget the effort and time it takes to build, train and prepare to preserve that peace. Additionally, we must never forget the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our beloved homeland. 


Therefore as we reflect on our respective forces’ birthdays this year, I ask you to focus on what keeps us ready and able to answer our country’s call at any time. Know you are the keepers of a tradition of superior performance in service to our country.


While your missions may vary, the outcome cannot, succeed in all that you do. Know many of the operations you will be part of are dangerous work. Do everything in your power to be safe and manage risks in all you do. Look out for the safety of yourselves and others. Know you must do the right thing every time. When mistakes happen be honest, responsible and forthcoming. Your integrity cannot be taken; only given. Do not give away your integrity. Know you are part of a team that relies on the performance of each member. This has been the foundation of military operations throughout our history, so always provide forceful backup and speak up when you see something that is not right. Know personal fulfillment comes from knowing you have done your best for a good cause.


Our positive attitudes and pride are the legacy we leave for the many warriors who follow in our footsteps. Freedom is never free. So believe in what you do! And yes, Happy Birthday!