Growing leadership & professionalism: The bigger picture provides volunteer opportunities

by Senior Airman Matthew Lancaster
51st Fighter Wing PAO

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea  -- This is the sixth in a series of articles relating to an overview of the 51st Fighter Wing priorities at Osan Air Base. The major role Team Osan plays in the Republic of Korea and the extent of its mission will be showcased this week in the way Team Osan "Grows Leadership and Professionalism." Next week, we will provide an in-depth look at how Team Osan can make Osan AB a better assignment by showing how Airmen improve the base and assignment by "driving innovative solutions." Concluding this series will be a wrap-up article with a video reiterating the importance of the wing's priorities.

Leadership and professionalism are important qualities the Air Force hopes to instill into its Airmen. Volunteer opportunities present the chance to enrich those qualities by allowing Airmen to spend their free time helping others or even be in charge of a project. The Bigger Picture at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, puts volunteer opportunities in one central location for people to find them.

The Bigger Picture advertises and coordinates volunteer opportunities within the community of Osan with a commercial website that categorizes events with names, dates, and contact information. This program was created to make it easier for people to find volunteer opportunities as well as to allow organizations a place to solicit for volunteers.

"People are put off from volunteering because it can be hard to find what events are going on," said Senior Airman Paul Lloyd, 51st Communications Squadron cyber systems operator and Bigger Picture site manager. "I feel that if you have it ready and accessible people will be more willing to volunteer."

The program facilitates volunteer events where Airmen can lead a team or group. These events give Airmen a chance to direct and inspire other people to achieve the goals set for the event.

"You not only lead from the top to the bottom but from the bottom to the top as well," said Lloyd. "The volunteer events give Airmen an opportunity to show that by becoming a coach for a youth team or volunteer to be a speaker at a school."
Some of the volunteer events need many people for the event. These events give Airmen the chance to work as a team with other people. The teamwork they display can further develop their professionalism as Airmen.

"These volunteer events get people out of their comfort zone," said Lloyd. "Doing that is what allows them to grow and gain new experiences."

The Bigger Picture has been around for six months and has been successful with gathering volunteers.

"The 9/11 commemoration event was our huge success," said Lloyd. "Getting the volunteers was done all through the Bigger Picture."

Lloyd said he believes the Bigger Picture made him a better leader by trusting people more.

"It showed me that if you allow people to take on projects and put your trust in them, more often than not they're going to surprise you," he said.

Each Airman should strive to enhance their leadership and professionalism. The Bigger Picture provides that chance with the different volunteer opportunities they advertise. For more information you can visit The Bigger Picture's website at

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