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NEWS | May 7, 2013

What is a good “wingman” to you?

By Master Sgt. Rod Lawless 437th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron assistant first sergeant

The term "wingman" stems from a time-honored tradition within our Air Force flying community. The second pilot in the formation is called the wingman because he or she protects the lead by watching their back. This is a wingman in battle.

If you think about it, we are in a personal battle everyday with making responsible decisions. The role of a wingman is to provide support for each other. Much like the flying term, we are providing protection. If we want to be successful on this battlefield of responsible decision making we must be able to depend on our wingman for that protection. We must also be able to be good wingmen for others.

We need to have fun; you have heard the saying "work hard, play hard." We should have fun after all; we work hard serving our country. We may be Airmen in the world's greatest Air Force but that does not exempt us from having stress in our life both on and off duty. We need to cut loose from time to time to relieve some of that stress. Whether that stress relief is with family or friends, it is a good feeling knowing that those around you are looking out for you as well as you looking out for them. My view on being a good wingman is as simple as that, looking out for those around you.

Whose wing are you covering? Who has yours? It's up to us to provide protection for each other from the enemy of bad choices. Be a good wingman and have a good wingman at all times. Choose a wingman as if your life depends on it! Who has your six?