‘How then should we lead’

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Malcolm Mayfield
  • 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Airmen are taking on responsibilities never expected of them nearly a decade ago, and the evolution of the Air Force has brought many service members together to ask tough questions and move collectively from tactical to strategic thinking.

The Lakenheath Philosophical Society was founded in 2014 with the aspiration of helping all Airmen.

“It’s important now and will be important in the future to have this type of strategic thinking,” said one Lakenheath Philosophical Society member. “During our discussions you learn new things, but you are also practicing that skill of being able to reason and listen to other people’s points of view.”

During the monthly meeting, the society discusses an array of philosophical questions that have been around for centuries. The latest meeting involved the controversial topic of free will.

“Not one of us thought alike during the discussion,” said the Lakenheath Philosophical Society president. “To be able to engage in a non-threatening environment with religious, non-religious and middle of the road people and not have to worry about having emotion involved is amazing.”
The society is considered professional development course, but requires no donations or signing up, taking part in one of the sessions is all someone has to do to join.

“This is a different kind of PDC,” the same member said. “It’s a PDC that doesn’t answer one question, but helps you learn skills to answer any question going forward.”

The Air Force needs a generation of Airmen equipped with the confidence to think critically, the courage to ask questions and the ability to change their point of view, the society’s president stressed.

The group currently has a wide spectrum of members, from young Airmen to colonels, who provide a diverse pool of Air Force perspectives.
“If you have a smarter generation, how would that not benefit an organization,” the society’s president said. “You should never stop learning, not just because you’ll have a better job, but because you will have a well-rounded life. Your spiritual, mental, social and physical pillars are all going to be in line with constant harmony.”

The Lakenheath Philosophical Society hopes to spread across the service and plans to make the next addition at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

Editor’s note: The RAF Lakenheath Philosophical Society meets every third Tuesday of every month at 4:30 p.m. at the Liberty Library. For more information, call 226-3713.