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How deep is your bench?

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- Some short-lived Cinderella stories and truly excellent teams competing at their best during the NCAA basketball tournament last month were a college basketball fan's dream come true. As each team strived for a win to advance to the next round, it became clear that star players don't always get the job done, become injured, or the glamour goes to their heads. That's when the coach reached back and pulled from the bench, not always grabbing the star player but nonetheless a key player to the team. The deeper the benches talent, the further the team advanced in the tournament. Winning teams have a deep bench, full of specialists able to tackle the challenges that would prevent the team's success.

How deep is your bench? Do you give your star players all the play time or do they share the limelight with the entire team? When a task comes down, many star names might come to mind, but have you reached back and pulled from the bench lately? Have you planned for your team's future success by developing each player's strengths while recognizing their weaknesses? The Air Force and our ever-changing mission dynamics require a diverse and specialized team ready to "Fly, Fight and Win".

From Airman to Chief Master Sergeant, we plan for success, forecast our limitations, and develop our replacements. In our little brown book, Air Force Instruction 36-2618, The Enlisted Force Structure, paragraph 5.1.6. states, "Be an active, visible leader. Deliberately develop junior enlisted Airmen, NCOs, and fellow senior NCOs into better followers, leaders, and supervisors." Our Air Force team needs to win. We are on the global stage each and every day. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our past and present leaders, our bench is deep, strong, and ever-replenishing. I charge you with not only developing our future and upholding our core values, but also ensuring each and every Airman under your supervision is ready, able, and motivated to come off the bench, bury the three-pointer and secure the win.

Pathfinders...We Lead the Way!!