Commander mentors new flight commanders

By Senior Airman Jacob Jimenez on December 22, 2016

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD - Team McChord's newest flight commanders recently attended a leadership course hosted by McChord leadership. The course was held Dec. 16 to help prepare new flight commanders for their new leadership positions at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. 

The quarterly course provides briefings from a variety of base agencies and open discussions from squadron commanders and McChord leadership to include the 62nd Airlift Wing commander.

"This is a great opportunity to impart any experience I have to offer to officers at the flight commander level," said Col. Leonard Kosinski, 62nd Airlift Wing commander. "I want to take questions and ask about any concerns they may have."

Kosinski spoke to the airmen on their second day of the two-day course and shared his history in the Air Force and personal experiences as a commander. He discussed his time at the Air Force Academy, his flying experience, his challenges while deployed and the different aspects of command he experienced as he progressed in rank.

"You have to be able to see your folks from the bottom up as well as the top down," said Kosinski. "It's not about everything being perfect, but recognizing when your people have challenges and ensuring they have the resources needed to overcome them."

The flight commanders attending the course also got to voice their concerns and questions to Kosinski.

"Talking to the commander was great. It was open and honest feedback," said Capt. Matthew McPhail, 7th Airlift Squadron C-17 Globemaster III pilot. "He has been a commander from the flight to the wing level so it's great to get his perspective and experience."

Kosinski was asked about how he handles making hard decisions as a commander.

"When making tough decisions you want to get a consensus and get a relevant perspective," said Kosinski. "Empathy is a skill set that we have to develop to understand others perspectives."

Kosinski also shared the importance of leaders knowing their airmen.

"The best command is where you're closest with your folks," said Kosinski. "The most important thing is taking care of your airmen and knowing your people."

Flight commanders attending the course agreed that the course was useful and talking with Kosinski was beneficial.    

"I think that this provided me with a better idea how I can help airmen of different career fields," said Capt. Ryan Crossman, 62nd Medical Squadron, aerospace physiology. "Regardless what our job is, we all work with people and we are all responsible to take care of the airmen under us."