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Transitioning teams: marching band to Air Force

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- Prior to joining the Air Force, I attended high school in Tulsa, Oklahoma. One thing I looked forward to everyday was attending marching band practice.

Our band, known as the Renegade Regiment, was not only a way to connect and socialize with other people; it provided a fun way to learn an essential life skill - teamwork.

To ensure a successful performance, every person in our group of more than 250 had to work together in many different ways.

Learning different instruments and finding where you fit in the "big picture," talking with people in your section when you're struggling with the music or drill, or simply being there for a teammate when they were having a bad day were all key ways teamwork impacted our daily lives.

When I graduated and joined the ranks of the world's greatest Air Force, I never forgot the lessons marching band taught me throughout those four years.

During basic training, many people thought it was something you could get through without the help of your fellow Airmen, but that is not the case.

Having learned the concept of teamwork, I went to basic training knowing I wouldn't be able to make it through without my flight working as a team, exemplifying the wingman concept, which was reinforced daily
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At first, our flight was divided. We had our own individual goals, but we didn't realize just how important we would all be to each other.

In time, our flight transformed from a group of individuals to one team working towards a common goal: graduating basic military training as honor flight. We learned more and more about each other, learning our strengths and weaknesses to help build each other up for the good of our flight.

From almost avoiding talking to each other to sitting in groups showing each other how to properly roll socks or take apart our M16 rifle, we made a big transition as a flight during our time in basic training.

In the end, we didn't win honor flight, but through teamwork we had something better: a group of sisters and lifelong friends.

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