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  • 'Hang on' through summer

    A friend of my father whom I have known since I was a child, I'll call him "M" here, gave me my first safety lesson when I was about 10 years old.I was standing short and skinny, in 1978, above a Class III river section with a helmet, a life jacket and a big, black truck tire inner-tube, and he said, jokingly, "Hang on, Kid."It was my first run-in
  • Changing perceptions

    The veterans of World War II and Korea set the foundation of the current Air National Guard.
  • ‘Rebluing,’ why do we say that?

    Since shortly after its birth as a separate service, American Airmen have worn the color, blue. Blue represents the sky above earth; a medium the Air Force first aimed to conquer. Blue in our uniforms, in our shield and in our official symbol is also commonly connected to loyalty and courage. Airmen have shown loyalty and courage in every
  • How and when to re-engage

     From before we step off the busses at basic military training, we are taught to submit to authority, follow directions and obey orders. In fact, our oath of enlistment specifically states we will, "obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over [us]." Most of us learned early in our careers our
  • Keep running for America

    Do you believe that running marathons can help the Air Force defeat terrorism? Across the board, the Air Force has the richest concentration of runners than most employers in the nation, maybe the world. The Total Force active duty, Reserve Command and Air National Guard's 500,000-plus service members all run 1.5 miles for their physical fitness
  • Stay scared

    I'm scared. Please allow me to explain. In 1984, I entered the Air Force at the age of 17. My parents endorsed a notarized form allowing me to sign my own name and enter military service before I could legally enter into a binding contract. Arriving at Basic Military Training at Lackland AFB, Texas, my flight received more instructions in the first
  • How to gripe

    In the classic, Steven Spielberg movie, Saving Private Ryan, Captain John H. Miller, a character played by Academy Award winning veteran, Tom Hanks, directs a wise statement to one of his soldiers. The men had been griping--to some degree or another--about their orders, the conditions, etc. Captain Miller listens and even jokingly compliments
  • They Walk Among Us

    Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force #5 Robert "Bob" Gaylor landed at McGhee Tyson Airport on August 2, 2011. The Paul H. Lankford Enlisted Professional Military Education Center hosted the 81-year-old former U.S. Air Force top enlisted leader for a little more than 24 hours as he dined with faculty, toured our host wing, the 134th Air Refueling
  • Follow our leaders...and rediscover mentorship

    Much has been written about mentorship: its importance, how to mentor, choosing a mentor, mentoring subordinates, mentoring peers, reverse-mentorship, and so forth. Attempts to codify, formalize, or in extreme cases, even mandate mentorship often result in the "self-licking ice cream cone" syndrome. In other words, the mentorship "program" becomes
  • Tradition of excellence handed to new leader of Lankford Center

    I.G. Brown Air National Guard Training and Education Center may be the least familiar higher education campus in Blount County. Surrounded by a security fence and protected by armed guards, it is not easily accessible.But when it comes to maintaining the nation's security and to attracting a diverse student body from across the country to this
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