The US Air Force is the nation’s youngest service, but has tremendous contributions provided by US Air Force veterans on how to make organizations more effective, more resilient, and better served.
Check out these insights from US Air Force veterans on how they used their service, their experiences, and their USAF skills to succeed post military.
The US Air Force finds new ways to do things with older assets. Here is a great conversation to have with a business person, “How many 50+ year old assets does your company use daily?” Maybe a few buildings or some pieces of property? The Air Force has constantly innovated to continue to employ and make old assets even more effective. Take the B-52, the primary strategic bomber of the US Air Force. The B-52 began to enter military service in 1955, yet the US Air Force found ways to make it effective from the jungles of Vietnam, to the mountains of Afghanistan, to the plains of Syria. This incredible innovation with old assets is a lesson in leadership, innovation, maintenance, and cost effectiveness.
The US Air Force applies innovation & technology to the most important tasks. The US Air Force leads in the practical application of new technology to solve age old problems. For a fighting force, the questions of “Where am I” and “Where does my Ordnance Need to Go?” are decades old questions for any nation’s air force. The US Air Force led in the application and creation of the Global Positioning System (GPS) to ensure planes stayed on course and ordnance went where it was supposed to land. GPS, the use of armed drones, the creation of cyber defenses, and the creation of redundant command and control systems for nuclear forces are all areas where US Air Force innovation and technology excelled.
The US Air Force demonstrates that organizations can discover & grow high tech talent. In most businesses, they identify a high tech need and then find people with those skills and hire them. The US Air Force cannot do that. Instead, in an era of high technology skill hiring, the US Air Force excelled in high technology training. The Air Force trained stealth pilots, jet engine repair people, computer technicians, and other high technology skilled Airmen that were critical to success that could not simply be hired. Growing and continually upskilling a high-tech work force is a lesson for every organization in the world.
The US Air Force demonstrates the importance of effective teams. The US Air Force is often seen as individuals such as pilots, ParaRescuemen (PJ’s) and other skills. Yet combat and transportation aircraft need runways, maintenance, fuel, weather information, enemy intelligence, ordnance, training, security and a myriad of other skills to be successful. The US Air Force deeply understands that great performance comes from efficient teams that all know, understand, and believe in the mission.
The US Air Force demonstrates that supporting roles are vital roles. Large scale military operations are usually organized into supported and supporting roles. The US Army, US Navy, or the US Marines are usually the supported force that will accomplish the precise military mission such as defending an area of terrain, protecting an endangered population, or attacking terrorists. The US Air Force then becomes the supporting force that provides logistics, support, and attack capabilities to the supported force. The US Air Force’s professionalism, ingenuity, and initiative that even as a Supported force it can easily become the lead force of success as the US Air Force demonstrated in the early days of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in Afghanistan.
The US Air Force is a marvel of innovation, technology, team work, and mission focus for the defense of the United States.
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About the Author: Chad Storlie is a Retired US Army Officer, the author of Combat Leader to Corporate Leader and has published over 360 articles in over 185 publications on military veterans, career advancement, business, leadership, strategy, education, financial planning, and national security topics. Chad excels as an author, mentor, speaker, and teacher showing business leaders and military veterans how military skills make lives, careers, and businesses better. Chad is an adjunct Professor of Marketing at the University of Minnesota – Carlson School of Management. Chad has a BA from Northwestern University and an MBA from Georgetown University. Follow Chad @CombatToCorp and www.CombatToCorporate.com.
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