Wingman Day speaker captivates Airmen

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Lindsey Soulsby
  • 120th Airlift Wing Public Affairs Office
Colonel Richard Tatem served as the guest speaker during the Montana Air National Guard Wingman Day held at the Mansfield Convention Center Dec. 5, 2015.

His Enhancing Human Capital Course focused on understanding the human aspect of a job using psychology, communication skills, and self-awareness.

Tatem is an individual mobility augmentee to the Director of the Profession of Arms Center of Excellence (PACE) and is one of eight instructors teaching this course.

120th Operations Group Commander Col. Patrick Hover, attended a PACE briefing Tatem provided to Airmen at Malmstrom Air Force Base in August. He was impressed with the information presented during the briefing and invited Tatem to deliver his message to 120th AW Airmen during the Wingman Day event.

"I was very moved by Col. Tatem's testimony, and when we were discussing ideas for our own Wingman Day events for December drill, he immediately came to my mind," Hover said. "I reached out to him and he made it happen for us even though he was extremely booked throughout the month."

The featured Wingman Day speaker brought a broad and varied background to share with 120th AW Airmen.

Tatem served two tours as an assistant professor at the Air Force Academy.  His educational background is in the humanities and includes graduate degrees in French and political science.

He also shared a personal story about the loss of his son during the presentation.

Tatem presented the information in a slideshow supplemented with classical music, jokes, personal stories and videos. One video described how to correctly tie a shoe.

He also included famous quotes, book lists for further reading, impersonations, accents and recitations of Shakespeare to the added interest of the audience.

"In the guard and the reserve we often live outside of our unit in the civilian community and work with people on a civilian basis," Tatem said. "Try to remember that we're still Airmen, we're still wingmen. Whether we are at the doctor's office and we work together or whether we see each other here on the base where we work together, we still have that same responsibility to be our wingman's keeper."

The PACE program has four goals: to inspire a strong commitment to the profession of arms; promote the right mindset to enhance effectiveness and trust; foster relationships that strengthen an environment of trust; and enhance a culture of shared identity, dignity and respect.

Tatem said being an Airman is serving in a profession of arms and comes with the duty to be a wingman to each other and oneself.

"We forget when we walk out the gate after the drill weekend," Tatem said. "We think it's our wingman when we have the uniform on but after that it's just a friend or some other guy or gal downtown. It's still a wingman thing."

Hover hopes 120th AW Airmen were able to take away valuable information during the briefing that they will be able to apply to their life.

"If it helped one Airman or all of us, it was worth the time and money," Hover said. "This wing and our mission will fail or succeed based on our Airmen. They are the most valued piece of our great team and we need to invest in them, and we will." 

The three-hour course gave the 120th AW members additional tools to put into action and stories to reflect on throughout the end-of-year celebrations.

For more information, Tatem suggests Airmen visit the PACE website for reading lists, videos and other tools.