Commentary Search

Another level of teamwork experienced at MacDill

  • Published
  • By Col. Wally Vaughn
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing chaplain
Many have heard the expression, "there is no 'I' in team." Even an elementary school student knows the spelling of the word team, t-e-a-m. The expression, there is no I in team references a concept; the statement is a shadow and its substance or essence must be sought elsewhere.

The substance of the phrase is that independent individual efforts, no matter how superior, that fail to support and advance the team's objective are meaningless.

MacDill is a military installation where teamwork is preached and practiced, practiced and preached. I am a preacher and make this statement with no pun intended!

At MacDill, teamwork transcends the traditional concept of multiple individuals coming together and successfully accomplishing a mission or goal.

How does one rise above that? What other level of teamwork is there? There is something called organizational teamwork; that is when various organizations combine efforts, work together and accomplish a goal.

Teamwork among people oriented organizations on MacDill is a common practice. I know this to be true because the Chapel has many successful ministries or people programs as they are called in some circles. Several of our benchmark ministries are successful in part because of other agencies on base that work with and support us.

For example, the Chapel will sponsor a three-hour dinner cruise around Tampa Bay in late July for spouses of deployed personnel. The event will be held on a Friday night in conjunction with the Child Development Center's Give Parents a Break program. Parents attending the outing will take their children to the CDC and then depart for the Tampa Port where they will board a dinner cruise and enjoy a night filled with festivities and relaxation. The 6th Logistics Readiness Squadron will provide the transportation to and from the event. The Airman and Family Readiness Center will cover the cost for child care during the event. This is teamwork among organizations.

The Chapel has also enjoyed successful events with our video game tournaments in the Cyber Café, working alongside the First Sergeants Council, the MacDill Dormitory Council as well as Giant Campus.

The teamwork executed among different organizations striving for the same goal requires superior coordination and solid commitment from those involved, because if one agency fails in its mission the objective will not be achieved.

Where only individuals are involved, another person can be quickly designated to fill in immediately and the hope is that they will rise to the occasion; but teamwork at the level I am addressing does not afford this opportunity.

If the Chapel is asked to work with other agencies and we fail to carry out our assignment, the project will be severely impacted and will have to be delayed or cancelled. Why? There is no other agency to which the other organizations can turn that can take the place of the Chapel, because no other agency on base can perform the functions that chaplains perform.

Among all of the organizations with which the Chapel has cooperated during my four years on station, every objective was achieved. That says a lot about the level of teamwork referenced in this article. As I prepare to depart MacDill, I will miss this caliber of teamwork among organizations, but I am thankful that I had the opportunity to experience it here.