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NEWS | April 22, 2014


By Master Sgt. Frances Wilkes 628th Security Force Squadron first sergeant

What labels have you heard in your squadron lately? My best Airman, Airman of the Quarter, Airman of the Millennium, or even "Dirt bag" or perhaps "My Problem Child?"

All of those labels can make or break an Airman. The type of label you place on an individual will play a key role on how they will turn out. When you use positive labels, Airmen will strive to be successful. This will provide them with the positive encouragement they need to excel.

It changes their mindset and will affect how they see the world. Airmen with positive mindsets will make their units more productive. Airmen with negative labels will hinder the mission.

Negative labels will only have a negative impact. These negative labels usually stem from poor life choices by an Airman. When these negative labels are placed on an individual, they will be reluctant to do anything positive. They will stay in this negative mindset.

When Airmen hear people call them a dirt bag or a problem child, it will drive them deeper into this negative mindset. Those Airmen will continue on a negative trend. They believe that getting in trouble is the only thing that a dirt bag/problem child Airman does. This will become the new norm for them. They will stay on this destructive path until they receive positive encouragement.
When you see your fellow Airmen make a poor choice, do not label them as your new problem child or dirt bag. Provide them with positive encouragement and mentorship. Give them the opportunity to exceed the standard again. With a positive mindset, they could be your next Airman of the Quarter.