Stepping up to the Combat Wingman Challenge

Gen. Robert H.

***image1***A few months ago I challenged all of U.S. Air Forces in Europe to take part in our new program, Combat Wingman. You took the challenge head-on and today we have a highly successful program that’s making a difference.

Our initial plan was to partner our most valuable resources, our people, with one another in sacred contracts that practiced Wingman consideration – an attitude of caring and looking out for each other.

As we mentioned during the program’s inception, caring for our Wingmen is a timeless tradition among Airmen. Our aviators fly with their Wingmen “checking their six” and today USAFE military, civilians and family members have adopted the same tradition and carry Combat Wingman cards symbolizing their commitment to each other.

Royal Air Force Lakenheath Middle School recently started a Junior Wingman program on March 25 modeled after the USAFE program.

Under the innovative guidance of Physical Education teacher Betsi Rymer, they now have all 685 students at the school carrying their own Junior Wingman cards.

The students are asked to check in with their Wingmen at least once a day. Besides checking in on each other, Wingmen at the middle school help others with homework. I’m thrilled and amazed to see our USAFE youth adopting this program!

The Combat Wingman program continues to grow, especially as we enter the spring and summer assignment seasons and new members to the USAFE team will need all our help. Our challenge is not only to welcome them to our team, but to also practice that Wingman consideration by helping them tackle any personal and professional challenges they might face.

I want to thank each of you for your help launching Combat Wingman. Let’s maintain our Wingman momentum. Combat Wingman – keep checking in!