Leading logistics Airmen provides incredible opportunities and challenges for our young officer cohort.  Conversely many other segments of the Air Force officer corps are not afforded the same experiences until much later in their careers.

Leadership and command “tactics, techniques, and procedures” (TTP) are readily available at our commissioning sources, formal PME courses, books, articles, documentaries and current as well as classic films such as Twelve O’Clock High.


However, I would opine the most important and in many cases extremely under-appreciated TTP is that of the sage wisdom and guidance from our senior and junior non-commissioned officers.

“The concept of heirpower is simple. An heir is a successor. If you break that word apart, you’re left with success and or. Success or. . . . The alternative to success is failure. What you’ll find in this book deals with success—not failure. Better yet, it’s about enabling people to succeed. Power is the capacity to act effectively. Who has power? You do! I do! We all do! Real power is produced when we share what we have. In this book, I share all that I can with you that will enable you to succeed. We’ll achieve real success when you take what I give you and what you develop on your own and then share it with others. The only way to get is to give. The best way to succeed is to help others succeed.  Pass on all you can, and you too will develop heirpower.
CMSgt Bob Vasquez, USAF, Retired

This excellent and concise read should be included in every officer’s (including senior) library.  I was very fortunate to live and inculcate these habits from the “crusty SAC non-coms” when I began my commissioned journey at the frozen Minot tundra in 1989.  I imagine there are very few of us left who knew what the PRIDE building meant, recall “Peace is Our Profession” and looked forward to the weekly alert rotation.  Most importantly I will forever be grateful to the NCO cadre who ensured a successful journey for this extremely lucky officer.

Next month a tribute to the SAC Alert Force and mentoring SAC maintenance officers!

Col JW Decker
LOA Historian

Heirpower! Eight Basic Habits of Exceptionally Powerful Lieutenants, CMSgt Bob Vasquez, USAF, Ret. June 2006, Air University Press

October 2016 LOA Historian Monthly Perspective #6 – Heirpower