Sunday, March 16, 2014
2010; JPEG File
At Macdill AFB, Tampa FL my Airmen Leadership School (ALS) class spells out our class motto; VICTORY!. The Airmen Battle Uniform’s (ABU) blend together to create the cohesive letters that almost blend into the drill pad; except for our one brother in arms from the U.S. Coastguard seen in blue toping the ‘T’. From this roof top view you can also see our nations flag proudly displayed over head as its shadow dances almost on top of us. The palm trees and base Dining Facility (DFAC) loom in the back framing this proud moment in my military career.
It was 90 degrees in Tampa the day this was shot but not one of my 24 brothers and sisters in arms complained. Our class was one week away from graduating the mandatory school for new Non Commissioned Officers. This 6 week journey was rough. Long days and nights were spent completing tasks designated to give us the tools to lead. This often left us all with a lack of sleep and energy; but you would never know.
During this 6 week time frame we all developed an even closer bond than the one we shared as service members. Our backgrounds within the military differed greatly; from medical to law enforcement (Security Forces), to mechanics and services; and often created interesting views on how tasks should be completed. Through team building exercises and simply helping each other with academic needs or needs within our daily lives, we pushed each other to do and become the best we could. This common struggle is what created the everlasting bond between our class.
For most of the 6 weeks our class did not have a motto. We were often asked by our Military Training Leaders (MTL‘s) what we as a group thought would best represent us for a motto. Nothing stuck out for us. This all changed one day in week 4 when we all successfully completed leading drill movements (Leading a group, or flight as its called, in maneuvering as a unit in an orderly fashion through marches, turns and spacing). When the last leader finished our MTL gave us some much needed praise and released us for the day. At this moment I yelled out “VICTORY!”. This simple word stuck. Our class made this common phrase our own. It was the answer to what our over all goal for the class was. We all wanted to become victorious by completing ALS and becoming the best NCO’s we could be. Our group did accomplish this task as well as made life long friendships.
At our classes graduation; that was attended by all of our superiors from our individual career fields; we unveiled our photo. We showed our ability to work together and our cohesion as airmen, not just a cop or mechanic etc, through this photo for all of the base to see. We ended our graduation with the 24 of us standing on stage, certificates and medals in hand, in front of this photo and chanted for the whole of the armed forces to hear, “VICTORY! VICTORY! THAT’S OUR CRY!!!! V-I-C-T-O-R-Y!!!!”