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Lawson's Vision: It's the people...

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Noah J. Tancer
  • 910th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

With a new commander comes new eyes; the gateways to the mind through which vision marches to guide the future.

Not long after Lt. Col. Scott Lawson's assumption of command of the 910th Operations Group on Dec. 6, 2020, he set to work turning the group into a leader-making machine with an Airmen-focused culture.

Lawson brings a long military career in operations and training, both active duty and reserve, through which he developed the principle: "The mission will always take care of itself if you focus on the people doing what they need to be doing."

During a strategic alignment event in late January, the operations group’s leadership determined that the 910th OG's mission, "To deliver a current and qualified operational force," would not change as it aligns well with Air Force priorities as laid out by Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., and the 910th Airlift Wing's priorities.

Under Lawson's command, the 910th OG adopted a new vision for carrying out that mission: 
"To provide an elite operational force that delivers superior tactical airlift and aerial spray capabilities."

"The vision changed to help emphasize the importance of its people and its members that make the mission happen, by emphasizing the elite operational force," said Lawson. "It helps conjure the necessity that it's the people that allow the superior tactical airlift and aerial spray capabilities."

His leadership and reason for the vision change stands on three key elements for every reservist: a core family, priority on civilian life and work, and their job in the military.

"Quite often in the operations world we're taught how to compartmentalize or that we need to compartmentalize," said Lawson. "My concern is as things are compartmentalized those things become greater and greater issues or problems."

If the family is having troubles, then the civilian work life may have difficulties as some of the family issues carry into the work, compounding the problem and potentially affecting the individual's military capacity.

"We have to take care of our people first, because our members will take care of the mission," said Lawson. "We have a tremendous leadership team right now, but we can't continue to grow if we aren't developing our next generation of leaders."

Through innovative means of teaching and the nurturing of Airman individuality, his number one hope is to see a continued 910th OG cultural shift into developing Airmen into better leaders. 

"When you make a copy of a copy of a copy, there is always degradation of the following copy, and if we just train our Airmen in the same things we've done previously we will naturally degrade the end product," said Lawson. "My goal is to help ensure that we give our next generation of leaders new tools and new foundations by which to grow and lead. So when they reach the level of senior leadership in the squadron, group or even wing levels, they have more tools available to them than what I have available to me right now."

The plan is to provide Airmen new routes of development and growth like personal and professional development classes. Mid-level leadership will be offered practical experience through challenging opportunities they may succeed or fail at, yet with offset supervision and observation so they can grow from the encounter either way.

"That's what helps to bring out the breadth of experience in individuals," said Lawson, "really developing our leaders and aligning our development tools with Gen. Brown's action orders for innovation and accelerating change. Being innovative with how we're developing folks really changes the game."

The 910th OG's priorities are: 
Readiness capability and training, projecting airpower. 
Leadership development officer and enlisted. 
Recruit and retain career enlisted aviators, rated officers and elite support personnel.
Facilitate full spectrum innovation.