Leadership should never be taken lightly

by Lt. Col. Christopher Hall
86th Vehicle Readiness Squadron commander

One of the most prestigious and privileged ceremonies of my career took place on May 27, 2015. It involved my family, who had missed out on many of the significant professional milestones of my career due to

This ceremony was not a christening, nor was it a wedding; it was the day I took command of the 86th Vehicle Readiness Squadron. It was an emotional day filled with great satisfaction knowing that leaders deemed me worthy to take command and lead this group of more than 300 Airmen and local nationals.

The men and women of the 86th Vehicle Readiness Squadron are a unique group who make up the only squadron of its kind in the U.S. Air Force. This group of professionals provides world-class vehicle and equipment maintenance support as well as transportation support in and around the KMC, Europe and Africa.

While reading these words, some may ask, “What does it mean to take command?” To each and every one of us, such an undertaking can mean many different things. There are numerous leaders who have come and gone before me and have taken on the great responsibility of command. Their answer, and I echo this when asked what it means to command – it is about leadership!

Leadership is an opportunity to serve. It is not a trumpet call to self-importance.

~ J. Donald Walters

Taking command requires self-sacrifice. Self-sacrifice is the giving of one’s time, talents and resources to ensure the well-being of others. There will be times that your men and women will need you to go above and beyond the call of duty.

Every commander in the U.S. Air Force is charged with organizing, training and equipping their Airmen with the tools and resources needed to fight our nations’ wars. Our Airmen are resilient, tenacious, daring and creative, but sometimes they need to stand on the shoulders of their leaders in order to complete unique or unforeseen tasks. Taking command is about sacrificing your time to lead and to help find those answers in order to move your team forward through those unchartered

My hope during my leadership journey is that I am transparent so my Airmen know who I am and what I stand for. In my view, it is imperative for each member on the team to understand their role and that includes the captain or leader of the team.

To take on a leadership role in any organization, or even within your family, is a privilege; a privilege never to be taken lightly. Being in charge of the morale, health and welfare of a unit brings about great burdens as well as unimaginable joys. I relish in the fact that I have the ability to affect the lives of so many, both professionally and personally. Having that responsibility forces me to look at myself in the mirror and ensure that I am not only enforcing the standards, but living by them
as well.

Taking command is leading by example and displaying all of our Air Force’s Core Values — “Integrity first, Service before self and Excellence in all we do.” I hope to be the shining beacon that will provide my unit the leadership, guidance and confidence wherein we can do anything together.