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Building unit cohesion and morale may be one of your most challenging tasks. There are always various things going on to drag down unit cohesion and confidence, whether intentional or not. Even if you were lucky enough to inherit a squadron whose morale already was high, you could be assured it was so because your predecessor made it a top priority. And keeping it high must be one of your top priorities as well.

Lt. Col. Eileen Isola offered, “I had to tackle a unit identity problem right off the bat. I made sure that every airman in the command knew their purpose in the squadron, the unit mission, and how significant their contribution was to making our mission a success.” Ensuring that every member of your squadron fully understands and embraces the mission of your unit is a cornerstone of unit cohesion. Every member must feel a purpose for their service. Everyone must be singing from the same music sheet—and the commander is the orchestra’s maestro.

Proverb for Command

To motivate your people, give them missions that challenge them. Give them as much responsibility as they can handle, then let them do the work without looking over their shoulders and nagging them. When they succeed, praise them. When they fall short, give them credit for what they have done and counsel or coach them on how to do better next time. People trained this way will accomplish the mission, even when no one is watching. They will work harder than they thought they could. And when their leader notices and gives them credit, they will be ready to take on even more next time.

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