Six words sum up Col. Scott Mills’ philosophy on how he wants all his airmen to be treated and how they should prepare accomplish their mission. Many of these concepts are adaptable to civilian teams as well.
He organizes these six words into two categories of three; Respected, Protected, Connected & Fight, Fit, Family. Scott expands upon the meanings of each of those words for our listeners.
Scott is always asking his airmen “Are you ready?” The correct answer should be a simple “yes”. Scott is motivated to ask this question because of personal experience. In January 2007 he was flying an A-10 over Iraq when he got a call about a downed helicopter. He knew it was likely that more enemies were waiting in ambush. For five minutes he scoured the terrain for hidden ambush sites but was unable to find them before they opened up on the downed crews. “I think about those five minutes all the time. It is a debt that I have to pay forward. YOUR five minutes are coming and you have to be great when those five minutes to find you. Everything you do should be focused upon preparing for those five minutes.”
Scott believes that we all have a responsibility to set a minimum baseline and hold our personnel to that standard. ”If you are having a bad day and only have 50% to give, I want that full fifty percent. I want you to give me everything you have that day.”
Col. Mills is the Commander of the 355th Wing and is responsible for organizing, training and equipping 25 squadrons consisting of 46,000 personnel and $51 billion in assets.
TAKEAWAY: “That is the unifying thing about our nation. We all have skin in this game. We all need to serve and find a way to do so.”