Joint Base Charleston


Who is your Wingman?

By Col. Brian Peters | 437th Maintenance Group commander | October 20, 2014

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Who is your Wingman?

Have you really given this question much thought? 

Recently, during preparation for my own feedback session using the new Airman Comprehensive Assessment form, I did. 

Many of us have determined that our spouse, best friend or even a favorite co-worker is our one-and-only Wingman.  But, is this one person really in the best position to help you across all aspects of your personal and professional life?

There are many articles from counselors, life coaches or other professional/personal mentors on this subject and these articles have some common themes that are useful for this discussion. Here are a few of them: 

A Wingman should be able to:
- Assess your strengths and weaknesses
- Introduce new perspectives - be able to see and correct wrong thinking
- Boost your ability to make decisions and put your plans into action
- Introduce you to important, previously unknown people and other resources

If these are characteristics we should encourage in choosing a Wingman, it becomes apparent that we might actually need multiple Wingmen. Where a spouse or a friend may be a perfect fit to cover some aspects of your life, they simply may not have the independent perspective to be much help in other areas. After all, when your life is experiencing a crisis - for example, a serious financial issue - it is likely that your spouse or best friend is also experiencing that crisis with you. Sure, they can offer some invaluable support, but their own perspectives are tied up with yours. So, their decisions or guidance might not be the best available.

It's clear to me that choosing Wingmen requires some careful thought.  Not only do you need to pick people you trust, but you may also need to determine which aspects of your life you want those people to help with. I don't think there is a one-size-fits-all answer.

Remember the requirements of certain duty positions and command or supervisor relationships can make these choices even harder.  Watch out for people in leadership positions at every level; they need dependable Wingmen too!

So, I ask the question again ... who is your Wingman?

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