A New Generation


Back in the late 1960s, America was changing. The Air Force knew that it had to change its ways also. There was a need for better management and leadership systems and better leadership training for the enlisted men and women.

I joined the Air Force in 1972. I was part of that new Air Force generation and benefited from excellent training. The old guard of senior noncommissioned officers (NCO’s) was still in place. They were always respected by the rank-and-file, and their orders were always followed. As a new member of the Air Force, I had a career of leadership training before me. I went to leadership schools and other events every few years. I went to an NCO Academy for 6 weeks in Texas. And, I even took a Senior NCO correspondence course while working in the Azores.

The big thing that I learned from this was the fact that you can teach a new generation and have them succeed without first getting rid of the old guard that came before them. I think that is an important thing to know. We honor our past, even as we learn new ways to do new things.

This week I have been writing on trying to curb violence in America, especially deadly violence. Today I start to look at the ‘how’ to get it done. First off, we come from a long legacy, and we must recognize that and honor it. The next thing we need to realize is that as the world changes, we need to learn and adapt our ways to meet new needs. I do not mean to make this sound like a contest. It is merely a fact of life. Those who learn, grow and succeed. Those who stop learning and stay with only what they knew up to that point, stagnate and fall behind.

We need to develop new ways to engage people from many backgrounds, lifestyles, and societies. We need to find ways to learn from each other, and we need to find ways to understand and empathize with one another. We do this while honoring those who have come before us and taught us their ideals, and at the same time recognizing that for us to grow and succeed we must also find and develop new ways where all can equally benefit.

Maybe we need to forgive and be forgiven for old sins and felt slights. Perhaps we need to reach out in understanding and realize we are really one planet with one people who have a very diverse past. As we celebrate our diversity, we should remember that we are, at the core, one people.

Tomorrow, I will talk more specifically on some of the ‘how’s.’ I am also wondering if you have any ideas on how this could be accomplished. If you have any, please let me know in the comments. I would be glad to share any thoughts or ideas I receive.  Until then, I want to thank you, my blog readers, for being here with me. No one person ever does anything alone, it always takes a team.

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

Author: Mike Balof

A retired Air Force Master Sergeant, Mike used to lay in bed at night and worry about what would happen if his plant closed or found himself without a job. One day his plant closed. Rather than panic and hysteria (OK, maybe a little) Mike found himself carried away on the adventure of his life. Mike started with the best job he ever had working at Home Depot. He spent 8 years working with job seekers at a local workforce center, helping them to find employment. He then started his own company developing courses, writing books and urging others to follow their own paths into the future. Mike holds a Master of Arts in Adult Education and Training and a Bachelor of Business Management, earned through the University of Phoenix and an AAS degree in Electronics Systems Technology from the Community College of the Air Force. Mike is a member of the Delta Mu Delta Business Honor Society.

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