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Inspirational Leaders

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Inspirational Leaders

Old 10th Nov 2022, 22:00
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Originally Posted by Chugalug2 View Post
An interesting thread that rather confirms my theory that the only leaders required by the Royal Air Force are to be found behind the station gates. I was fortunate in my time to have some excellent bosses but to be fair I had little or no contact with the various Station Commanders involved, with exception of one at RAF Fairford. His incompetence was not only clear to we low life but to the CoC also, and he was summarily moved on and replaced.

Outside of the Station Gates the RAF is a bureaucracy which wants conformity to approved policy rather than people persons. As others have pointed out this was not the case with the ex-WWII VSOs who filled the appointments in my day. We had Mickey Martin as an AOC. Renowned for slipping his minders on an AOCs Inspection to find crew rooms and tea bars where he could find what the real issues were rather than those told him by his staff! Normal service resumed though with their post war replacements.
Yes,
Mickey Martin was a top bloke. Staish at Nicosia c. 1963. Roamed the station unaccompamied and cadged fags off everyone he engaged with. "Personal Brief" in Met involved a cigarette and genuine Turkish Coffee brewed by our Cypriot observers. I knew nothing of dam-busting exploits at the time: he just exuded good character. Said to be best low-flying bomber pilot of the war. Our old Hastings must have seemed a bit tame.
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Old 11th Nov 2022, 01:01
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If I might offer up a worthy suggestion on good leadership from a lowly ‘bomb-head’s’ perspective.

Wg Cdr Stu Atha OC 3(F) Sqn 2000-2003
We first met in the DRIU during Basic Sea Survival at HMS Excellent, as we had joined the squadron at roughly the same time and we’re preparing to embark in HMS Illustrious. Not only did the Boss know my name, but also those of my wife and two children, having done his homework on the SNCO cadre of the squadron which mightily impressed this newly promoted Sgt. What followed was a rollercoaster of hard work, long nights, great detachments and fun times, which culminated in our participation in Op Telic in 2003.
The Boss exemplified the adage of train hard, fight easy and led from the front throughout; working and flying as hard, or harder as any pilot on the squadron. He was calm and composed and gave a rousing speech to us all on night one. Our young lineys watched in awe as he ensured everyone got to see the imagery of what our pilots had been achieving, so that we all knew the importance of what we were doing. We achieved great success in our role, without fuss or fanfare.
For me, the defining moment was having to help lift him out of the cockpit at sunrise as he had flown all night giving cover to TIC, going back and forth to the tankers as other pilots came and went. I can’t remember how many hours he put in the 700, but that jet needed a fair drop of engine oil on its return! He was utterly exhausted, but having witnessed that level of commitment, this event had a tangible affect on all who witnessed it, me included.
I have not experienced leadership like this before or since and he was rightly awarded the DSO for his conduct. I often used to watch him at work when I was in the Sqn Eng Ops Controller role and he was always meticulous in knowing the state of our aircraft and was not afraid to ask the difficult questions. That man taught me more about leadership than he will ever know and to this day I will never understand why he was not made CAS!
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Old 11th Nov 2022, 08:18
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In recent years, Phil Osborn (Osby) stands out. Brilliant leader, down to earth, really cared for his people while ensuring the job got done. Got to 3 star and became CDI but would have been brilliant as VCDS.
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Old 11th Nov 2022, 15:12
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Originally Posted by Red Line Entry View Post
In recent years, Phil Osborn (Osby) stands out. Brilliant leader, down to earth, really cared for his people while ensuring the job got done. Got to 3 star and became CDI but would have been brilliant as VCDS.
Mort and RLE. Stu Atha, watched him work the room at the WOs&Sgts Mess invite to the Officers mess Christmas doo at Waddo. It took him an hour to get to the bar as every time he moved, he chatted to someone and knew their names, family names, everything. He came out to Red Flag and gave us a speech. I asked him a question about something and, despite having only met him once, he knew my name, nay, he knew everyone.

He also came to visit my Sqn a few years back when he was AOC. He terrified my Sqn Officers. On the way out of the Sqn he stopped by our work area, which is where I met him first before Ex RF, where all of us old MACr worked. Spent half an hour chatting about everything. None of it work related.Utterly personable, very knowledgable.

Osby and Stu Atha came to Waddo for a brief after a conference. It was great watching two 3 * s meeting and immediately taking the piss out of each other. Osby gave a fantastic talk about Russia. How prophetic he was and he held the room in the palm of his hand. Great leaders.

The only other leader who I ever saw come close was Dickie (Patroonas)? I did my pre-Afghan course with him then deployed together to the same unit. Fantastic guy. I wonder what happened to him.

Last edited by Toadstool; 11th Nov 2022 at 15:24.
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Old 11th Nov 2022, 19:53
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Originally Posted by Toadstool View Post
Mort and RLE. Stu Atha, watched him work the room at the WOs&Sgts Mess invite to the Officers mess Christmas doo at Waddo. It took him an hour to get to the bar as every time he moved, he chatted to someone and knew their names, family names, everything. He came out to Red Flag and gave us a speech. I asked him a question about something and, despite having only met him once, he knew my name, nay, he knew everyone.

He also came to visit my Sqn a few years back when he was AOC. He terrified my Sqn Officers. On the way out of the Sqn he stopped by our work area, which is where I met him first before Ex RF, where all of us old MACr worked. Spent half an hour chatting about everything. None of it work related.Utterly personable, very knowledgable.

Osby and Stu Atha came to Waddo for a brief after a conference. It was great watching two 3 * s meeting and immediately taking the piss out of each other. Osby gave a fantastic talk about Russia. How prophetic he was and he held the room in the palm of his hand. Great leaders.

The only other leader who I ever saw come close was Dickie (Patroonas)? I did my pre-Afghan course with him then deployed together to the same unit. Fantastic guy. I wonder what happened to him.
Was fortunate to have those last two gentlemen as my last Station commanders. Was Guard Commander on Xmas Day and as others had mentioned, Stu had done his homework and knew my first name. Phill Osborne presented my AOC commendation at Marham on my last full day in uniform. Again highly interested in his personal.
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Old 12th Nov 2022, 05:31
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The best

I was a teenage mech when I did something very silly passing through El Adem.I thought I had got away with it but later my captain(wingco) came and sat with me nd we commenced to talk about the incident which could have got him in hot water!It involved a senior army officer losing or lets say misplacing a piece of uniform!
My (then)Wingco commenced to make a joke of it in front of the squadron which gave me a very red face!!
Wing commander Roe,you were a real gent..ended up an AvM (?
Lovely man.
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Old 12th Nov 2022, 09:05
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by KPax View Post
I still believe that JW the Stn Cdr at Bruggen mid 70's was the most inspirational leader I worked for in 38 years, Cliff Spink was another.
Indeed, I very much admired Whiskey Walker.
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Old 12th Nov 2022, 09:21
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Toadstool View Post
Mort and RLE. Stu Atha, watched him work the room at the WOs&Sgts Mess invite to the Officers mess Christmas doo at Waddo. It took him an hour to get to the bar as every time he moved, he chatted to someone and knew their names, family names, everything. He came out to Red Flag and gave us a speech. I asked him a question about something and, despite having only met him once, he knew my name, nay, he knew everyone.

He also came to visit my Sqn a few years back when he was AOC. He terrified my Sqn Officers. On the way out of the Sqn he stopped by our work area, which is where I met him first before Ex RF, where all of us old MACr worked. Spent half an hour chatting about everything. None of it work related.Utterly personable, very knowledgable.

Osby and Stu Atha came to Waddo for a brief after a conference. It was great watching two 3 * s meeting and immediately taking the piss out of each other. Osby gave a fantastic talk about Russia. How prophetic he was and he held the room in the palm of his hand. Great leaders.

The only other leader who I ever saw come close was Dickie (Patroonas)? I did my pre-Afghan course with him then deployed together to the same unit. Fantastic guy. I wonder what happened to him.
'Dickie Pat' I was on 63/19 when he cam through on his TWU course. Another thoroughly nice bloke and a bloody good pilot to boot. Had a backseat ride with him when he got creamed off to instruct for a while, so very down to earth. I guess he has left the building?
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Old 12th Nov 2022, 09:48
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I think this issue of ‘great leaders’ knowing people’s names is a bit of a red herring. Everyone knows that people love to hear their own names, so even the weasliest politician keeps a notebook/database of people’s names and contacts (GDPR notwithstanding!)

I’ve known senior officers who have made great effort to learn people’s names, but that hasn’t stopped them from being complete tossers without any genuine empathy or compassion. They just have known the best way to climb the greasy pole.
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Old 12th Nov 2022, 19:28
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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Just came across this account, which certainly shows some inspirational leadership qualities: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/202...e-remembrance/
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Old 12th Nov 2022, 20:53
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Just came across this account, which certainly shows some inspirational leadership qualities:
Not leadership - just an incredible level of humanity - hats off to Padre Tom
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Old 13th Nov 2022, 15:22
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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With passing of Veterans Day.....and the passing of the last living Member of Easy Company of "Band of Brothers" fame.....I would suggest that Dick Winters easily meets the standards required to be an inspirational leader.

I first read the book when it first came out, very much enjoyed the Series and have an autographed copy of the book signed by Buck Compton.

What was unique about Easy Company is they wound up at Hitler and Goring's mountain retreats. having fought their way from Normandy via Bastogne, Holland, and across Germany to wind up drinking Goring's Wine Cellar dry.

Winters was the glue that held them together and led by example to include a infantry actions that are still taught to US Military Academy Cadets today.

A short article about the "end" of Easy Company.....the Soldiers are gone but. their reputation and accomplishments live on.

https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/hero...-all-americans
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Old 14th Nov 2022, 10:10
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Leaders? Just some names from my brief (39 years) time in blue come to mind…Not all RAF and their style of leadership differs, for sure. some names will be ‘controversial’ on here but they have all been influential in my time. .

No ranks, as I have seen that rank is no guarantee of good leadership. ”and in no particular order”

…..long pause ………

David Cousins
Doug Bridson
Ernie Jakeway
Cliff Spink
Doug Hall
Sandy Wilson
David Hill
George Ross
Jock Manson
Bob Leggett


“and the winner, is…..”

all of em. Simples.

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