Be a piece of the puzzle

  • Published
  • By Capt. William Russell
  • 21st Space Wing Public Affairs
There are more than 4,000 personnel assigned to the 21st Space Wing executing global capabilities in defense of our homeland while securing the space domain for our nation and its allies 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Lucky for me, as a public affairs officer, I have the best seat in the Air Force's premier space wing watching men and women, both Airmen and civil servants coming together, like pieces in a puzzle, to complete the mission daily.

I can tell you first hand that every 'big A' Airmen has a compelling story that needs to be heard and shared across the 21st Space Wing and the U.S. Air Force. A story or puzzle piece that fits into this giant 24,000 piece jigsaw puzzle that my team works on every day to showcase. Each piece contributes to the puzzle regardless of its shape or size, and it all fits into the grand scheme of the wing and Air Force mission.

But just like every puzzle out there, you have to start somewhere.

Most people like to start with the corner pieces and work on the border of the puzzle. These pieces are always easiest to find and serve as a great starting point, just like the mission, vision and priorities of the 21st SW. If you break it down, every Airman's piece or story fits into one of these three categories. Are you assigned to the 21st Operations Group assigned to Thule Air Base, Greenland? Boom, you're providing unrivaled space superiority. Are you a defender guarding Peterson daily? Gotcha, you're taking care of people. Are you finding better ways to do your job? Bingo, you're pursuing innovation and being an effective steward of resources. You get the point, your story is already part of the puzzle and we want to share it!

Now comes the middle part of the puzzle, where even the public affairs office needs assistance from time to time.

This is a golden opportunity where everyone, regardless of rank, can pitch in, help, and be an Air Force storyteller; contributors to this puzzle. Of all the reportable stories that occur in the 21st SW every day we are only tracking the ones brought to our attention. Sure, we knock on doors and keep our ears to the ground, but stories and pieces continue to fall through the cracks. These are important pieces that are needed to fill gaps and finish this communication puzzle, in order to share your story - our story.

As Airmen, we understand that providing unparalleled space power to the Air Force mission comes first, but at the end of the day, we are all humans who wear the same uniform. Many have unique hobbies, come from diverse backgrounds, have overcome adversity, and volunteer within the community; these are also stories that deserve to be shared with our audience.   

Ultimately, we must all come together as a team to finish this puzzle and tell the story together. So, when you're participating in a roll call, sitting in a staff meeting or just chatting in the office and overhear something interesting, 99.9% of the time public affairs can take that information and craft it into something larger. Bottom-line: Our mission is to tell the Air Force story. Be a piece of the puzzle and help us, help you in highlighting the men and women of the 21st SW and the valuable mission we accomplish every day.

Tell your story today! Contact the 21st SW Public Affairs office at 556-4153 and ask for the command information section.