Maintaining a lifestyle, defining a culture

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jessica Huggins
  • 460th Space Wing Public Affairs

Merriam-Webster describes morale as a sense of common purpose with respect to a group, and good morale is a common goal for members across the Air Force.

Buckley AFB leadership is dedicated to providing the tools necessary to harvest morale, while watching for potential concerns.

Leaders recognize possible pitfalls and come up with ways to expand on initiatives already being taken to bridge gaps. Some of the concerns that have come to the attention of leadership have been a desire for additional training, integration of more inspiration and motivation, and best ways to maintain resiliency.

It takes a team to maintain the upkeep of morale, and having the ability to work together can make a significant difference.

“Everyone knows they will be respected on our team, we won’t tolerate anything else,” said Maj. Christopher Humphrey, 460th Comptroller Squadron commander. “When you foster an environment of respect, you can avoid some of the shortcomings that dampen spirit and passion. Unit morale will flourish organically and you won’t have to fake it.”

The aspect of teamwork comes in handy, especially when it comes to the concern of resiliency.

“I’ve never before been on such a tight-knit team that genuinely cares for one another on an individual and personal level,” said Humphrey. “I have never seen a leadership team so honestly and wholeheartedly focused on Airmen and their families.”

Buckley promotes the team-oriented mindset by listening to ideas and thoughts. They want Airmen to feel valued and confident in their roles to contribute to the overall mission.

“Airmen should start with their lower level supervisors and present their ideas for positive changes with courses of action or plans for implementation,” said Chief Master Sgt. Rod Lindsey, 460th Space Wing Command Chief.  “The way we [leaders] improve the daily lives of Airmen is to be engaged. We can’t lead from behind our desks.”

When allowed the opportunity to further their education and training, Airmen have shown the ability to perform better in their respective career fields.

“We are one of the few bases across the Air Force without an education center,” said Lindsey. “We continue to find innovative ways to get our folks in class. We have developed several professional enhancement courses for enlisted, officers, civilians, and families from all services.”

Lindsey added that the Airmen and Family development programs are there to ensure Airmen are trained, organized and equipped to be the best they can be and have the necessary tools to be successful in the personal and professional careers.

Motivation and inspiration are necessities to Airmen, and if they feel valued they can more easily understand how their contributions are significant to the organization and the mission, according to Lindsey.

He added that his expectations to ensure these necessities reach Buckley’s morale include establishing strong communication, a work environment driven by pride, professionalism, discipline, readiness, dignity and respect, rewarding Airmen and taking care of their families. Bolstering core career field training, leadership at all levels and resilience are crucial and imperative for Team Buckley.

There are several morale-boosting initiatives on base that are open to service members with families to enlisted personnel who live in the dorms.

“We’ve added Wi-Fi to the base gym and currently installing in common areas of the dormitory,” said Lindsey. “We implemented free movie nights for all military members and their families, upgraded the theatre system in the dormitory and added expectant mother signs at the Commissary and BX.”

Team Buckley has also developed a Quality of Life Council, which is made up of Active Duty, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve personnel. The recommendations for the improvement initiatives on base came from this council, specifically from the voices of Airmen from various ranks.

“Morale is what drives our Airmen and their families to stay committed and dedicated to what we are trying to do as an organization,” said Lindsey. “At the end of the day, it is going to take work at all senior and subordinate leadership levels to maintain, particularly in the face of opposition and hardship, global threats and just mere uncertainty in the world. 

Lindsey defines morale as the values, will-power and self-discipline that motivates Airmen to continue to perform at consistent levels in pursuit of this common goal or purpose, which he feels is crucial to successful execution of the AF mission.