Atmosphere 5: Creativity

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Robert Brooks
  • 99th Air Base Wing
The Command Chief's 12 Atmospheres are designed to invoke a monthly focus on simple everyday concepts that sometimes get lost in light of increased ops-tempo and proliferation of typical AF jargon. Leaders at every level are encouraged to incorporate the monthly focus in their area of responsibility by whatever means they deem fit, but keeping with a very casual, if not fun inception. Each month a corresponding short video will air on the Commander's channel, Chiefs Corner website and Commander's calls as requested.

My daughter Ally, 10, has always been a bit of an "outside-the-box" thinker. Some of the things she says and does literally make me wonder if indeed she is mine--in a good way! I can remember in her younger years leaving pictures on my pillow that she had drawn of creatures that simply don't exist. Don't even get me started on some of the "collections" she has in her room; it's a page out of "Ripley's Believe it or Not." Last night I learned yet another unknown fact about my delightful daughter; she is a songwriter. Actually, let me correct that...she would say she is a "remixer"...that's right, a remixer at the age of 10. She even went so far as to show me her "secret" workbook of songs both new and remixed. It was a three-ring binder with several folders and spiral notebooks, organized to ludicrous extreme (ok, she's mine). At the end of one of her songs she even had in parenthesis "say: good night Las Vegas, you've been a wonderful crowd". 

As I reflect on the creativity of my child, indeed my children, I am reminded that April is the month of the military child. Since I have four of them, why not make creativity a topic of celebration in this month's atmosphere? 

As I travel the base speaking in different forums like First Term Airman Center, Airman Leadership School, Professional Enhancement Seminar, etc., I push the idea of creativity relative to professional development. In short, we are in a superior corps thus being great really isn't enough to ensure advancement; virtually everyone is great! To be cliché, you don't necessarily have to be better, but it does help to be different. Specifically, as one ponders ways they might seek self improvement, or get involvement in our community, creativity saves the day. Please understand I do not advocate avoiding volunteer opportunities that are widely known and solicited, but know that those don't necessarily set you apart. Continue to do them because those things make us a community, but find that opportunity specific to your personal likes and skills. I always tell Airmen to think of what they enjoy and do well, then find a way to benefit the community with it. 

We come into this week with a distinguished team of visitors on base; the LeMay Award Team. It's no coincidence that the 99th Services Squadron is in the final level of this Air Force-wide competition. If I may be so bold as to put a word on their success--Creativity! Team Nellis' Services warriors have been given the impossible task of supporting tens of thousands of permanent party members and dependants to say nothing of the massive TDY customer base. All this with little staff, a conflicted budget and facilities that are older than the professionals running them. Just last week I had a conversation with Maj. Beth Demmons, 99th Services Squadron commander, about three dramatic new programs (to be unveiled soon) she will implement this year improving quality of life at Nellis on several unique fronts, while saving the Air Force precious dollars. As with Ally, I am wondering "how did she even think of that?" It's fortunate that our Services team, like Ally, has creativity or the organization would have run amuck long ago. Award-winning service would be only a distant dream. As with my Ally-cat, to Services I am proud to say I belong! 

So whatever the task this month, I challenge you to attack it with a renewed creativity. In developing yourself and those around you, be creative. In serving your family and community, be creative. In celebrating the month of the military child, be creative; our future depends on it.