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NEWS | Sept. 5, 2012

YouTube is Educational?

By Lt. Col David Owens 15th Airlift Squadron, 437th Airlift Wing

Logging on to YouTube today, the following three videos were listed as some of the most viewed: "Kid on Bike Eats It," "The Angriest Babies in the Whole World," and "Crowd Gets Surprised." Collectively, those videos had nearly five million views.

Now I will readily admit that I am one of those five million as I clicked on each of the videos and watched them. By the way, the kid on the bike did "eat it," but seemed to be fine as he rode off down the street. After watching a few minutes of "Angriest Babies," I am concerned for their happiness 10 or 20 years from now, and the "Surprised" video was just plain funny.

So yes, videos on YouTube can be entertaining; however, did you know that some of the videos on there can also be educational? Huh, you say? Before you write me off as crazy, let me explain.

A simple search of "General Welsh" on YouTube yields more than 20 videos of our new Chief. For example, a few of the posted videos are of his confirmation hearing, a couple others show the recent change of command making him the 20th Air Force Chief of Staff, while others show interviews from when he was the U. S. Air Forces in Europe commander. But there is one video I found particularly enlightening so I chose to write about it for this article. The video is titled, "General Welsh Speech to United States Air Force Academy."

The video is many things to me. It is inspirational. It is heartwarming. It is honest and it is downright motivating. You get a real sense of the leader that he was, is and will be. Specifically, in a presentation given in Nov., 2011, at the Air Force Academy, Welsh laid out his leadership principles. My intention for this article is not to detail them principle by principle, because I want you to watch the video for yourself. However, there are some simple principles that I will share ... principles such as: remind yourself everyday why you wear the uniform; you need to be credible; attention to detail - you better have it; keep your promises and my favorite, every Airman has a story - you must learn the story! Each of these principles is backed up with a story. Some are funny; some make the hair on the back of your neck stand up, while one in particular will bring tears to your eyes.

Don't believe me? I ask that you to take a look for yourself. The presentation is 50 minutes long, but 50 minutes that are worth your time. It does not matter if you are an officer, enlisted, retired or civilian, you will be moved and you will gain insight to our Chief. You might be wondering how many views the video has. Not the five million I spoke of earlier. Instead as of today, the speech has 140,000 views. Maybe we can add a thousand or so to that number!