The Legacy of Leadership

  • Published
  • By Maj. Bryan Smith
  • 908th ASTS
Recently, I received word that Lt Col Gwendolyn Hill, 908 ASTS Chief Nurse will retire soon.  While congratulating my mentor, I considered my 15 years of service with her and the impact she has had on me and everyone around her/in the unit.

Military organizations can be compared to businesses and families. Like civilian supervisors and parents, military leaders can leave behind a lasting legacy in the thoughts and behaviors of their peers and subordinates.  

A leader's personal and organizational priorities are reflected by those under their command. They can encourage or discourage creativity, promote good or bad work habits, and influence the degree subordinates pursue excellence and professional development. Subordinates will often adjust their priorities based on the aspects of the work their supervisors are passionate and dispassionate about.

They also are left with an impression of what a leader is doing or willing to do to or for them; which consequentially influences their behavior going forward.

I am thankful Lt. Col. Hill managed to put equal emphasis on serving the wing and on our squadron's individual training and professional development.  She was able to both focus on the daily tasks at hand and long term personnel training and development requirements. 

She defined a long-term vision for our efforts and always adhered to sound moral and ethical principles. Approaching day-to-day operations, she clearly defined performance targets for our members that used short term actions to meet long-term goals. 

On behalf of the entire 908th ASTS, I want to thank Lt. Col. Hill for her service and wish her much success in all her future endeavors. She is leaving the ASTS with a legacy of leadership. 

It is my hope that we can all, no matter the rank, strive to leave such an example and contribution when we depart.