JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas --
Seeing first-hand how the 59th Medical Wing is “setting the standard” for innovation throughout the Department of Defense, Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson, commander, Air Education and Training Command, toured the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center May 11 to get an inside glimpse of the organization.
The general met with senior leadership and spoke with Airmen across the 59th MDW to gain a deeper perspective of the wing’s medical and training missions. Accompanied by his wife, Cheryl, and AETC Command Chief Master Sgt. David Staton, Roberson was impressed with the innovative spirit present throughout the wing.
“It’s been a great visit. We are really impressed. You are looking at ways of making things better in your areas and I encourage you to keep that up,” Roberson said.
The tour included stops at several clinics, and visits to the Airman Medical Transition Unit, the wing’s En-Route Patient Staging System, the pilot unit, and the new Wilford Hall facility currently under construction.
Roberson also gained insight on the wing’s Gateway Innovation Center and how innovative problem-solving techniques taught at the center are inspiring Airmen to challenge the status quo and look for ways to improve and enhance patient care.
“I spent the day listening and learning about what you guys are doing – awesome, awesome stuff going on. I love the innovative attitude and the efforts that are going on (around) the 59th Medical Wing.
Later, the general talked about his focus areas and leadership philosophy during an all call gathering in the Wilford Hall auditorium.
“Because leadership is so important, every time I get the opportunity to speak to (AETC Airmen), I want to talk about my personal philosophy of leadership,” Roberson said.
“I want to share with you what I call my core leadership philosophy, the three Cs: competence, care and character,” he said.
Competence, Roberson explained, is leading from the front and leading by example. Leaders must be ready, qualified and competent in their job to earn the trust of their followers. Leaders must also show genuine care for Airmen, the Air Force and the nation. Lastly, leaders must demonstrate character.
“Character is a little stronger than just integrity. It is a willingness and a strength to do what you know is right,” he said.
The general also addressed the importance of airpower, and the significance that the command and the 59th MDW play, in combat and national defense.
“For the medical community, airpower starts here. I want you to be airpower advocates. There’s no country in the world that can do what we do,” he said.
Staton also spoke during the all call, offering insight into enlisted professional military education programs, including Course 15, the Noncommissioned Officer Academy Distance Learning Course; developmental special duty opportunities; and changes to the enlisted evaluation system.
“If you are a supervisor, make sure you know how the (evaluation system) works. We are building better Airmen,” he said.
For Staton, whose two daughters were born at Wilford Hall, visiting the 59th MDW was also an opportunity to say thank you to the Air Force medical community.
“I have a special place in my heart for you guys. I know how hard you work. I’ve been around medics before, I’ve deployed with you and I’ve seen you save lives,” he said. “Thank you. Keep doing what you’re doing.”