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JSpOC Olympics: Building Exceptional Leaders and Teams

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --

Holistic health is essential to the Air Force warrior ethos. In our high-ops climate, physical, mental and emotional health is critical to accomplishing the mission and developing capable leaders and teams. No commander recognizes the need for complimentary health and leadership development practices more than Col. Mike Manor, 614th Air Operations Center commander. Manor pioneered the second Annual Joint Space Operations Center Olympics, one of many health initiative tools designed to build a strong health and wellness culture.

 

“Our attitude is key,” said Manor. “We’ve all seen the person who remains enthusiastic despite being in challenging circumstances. In doing so, they often lift the spirits of those around them because genuine enthusiasm is highly contagious.”

 

As a former Air Force Academy baseball player and coach, Manor recognizes the potential of building strong individuals and teams on and off the field.

 

"I've had the privilege of being on several great teams in my life," said Manor.

 

Those experiences have highlighted the need to develop three important individual and team qualities: hard work, enthusiasm and selfless service. These ingredients that distinguished successful leaders and teams; building a supportive health culture is vital to building these attributes. This is the vision behind the JSpOC Olympics.

 

On May 26, JSpOC members gathered at the base track for the 4x1 relay race. Competitors jogged in place with gold batons in hand and huddled with teammates on the track lanes. The crowd looked uneasily at the grey, cloud-filled sky, promising a momentary downpour. Suddenly, the enthusiastic Manor ran across field, sharing fist bumps with smiling unit members as he made his way through the crowd. Manor enthusiastically exclaimed, "Round-up! It's game time!"

 

The commander's pre-game message expressed genuine appreciation and the utmost confidence in the team's proven ability to perform under pressure and to overcome obstacles. His speech called for every Airmen to build resilience as leaders and teammates -- both on and off the field. Sports Day is a symbol of a growing holistic health culture, which is the baseline for hard work, a "can-do" attitude and selfless service from our wingmen. After an enthusiastic Air Force "hua," excitement spread like wildfire and the crowd rushed to the track.

 

Members spent the rest of day immersed in competitive volleyball, dodgeball and football games. Teams were made up of men and women from the five JSpOC divisions, plus our National Guard and Reserve partners. The teams embodied a diverse set of professional and personal backgrounds, which provided members the opportunity to overcome mental and emotional barriers. Members learned to work together, express positive and cooperative spirit and help one another on the court and the field. The festivities forged the growing health culture much needed in our demanding industry and accomplished this in a fun way.

 

Since the JSpOC Olympics’ inception in 2016, unit members have stepped forward with ideas for complimentary health initiatives, which will further solidify our health and wellness culture. The unit will soon install the JSpOC Health Display in order to showcase and celebrate outstanding unit fitness performance and opportunities to help others. The JSpOC has also initiated a running club, hiking club, and bodybuilding organization, to name a few. More members are getting actively involved as both leaders and teammates in unique ways, which is revolutionizing out unit's health culture.

On and off the field, we are called to be strong leaders and teammates. The nation depends on our mission success and every member is critical to the effort. Manor's ingredients for strong leaderships and teams -- hard work, enthusiasm, service -- in conjunction with a strong health and wellness culture, will enable the JSpOC to fulfill the AF Warrior Ethos to "Fly, Fight and Win!"