Leadership through diversity

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Seth Haddix
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

Leadership can be defined as a process of social influence that maximizes the efforts of others towards the achievement of a goal. However, you can not define the correct way of finding it.

Tech. Sgt. Marcos Garcia, 37th Training Wing Detachment 5 military training instructor, has found his own avenue to becoming a leader through his heritage.

“My heritage has molded the person I am and the values I hold very important,” said Marcos. “Those values have made me hold the idea of my family very high, which is always what my parents taught me was most important.”

Marcos grew up a first generation Mexican-American with his family in West Texas. After living what he believed to be a traditional Latino lifestyle, he decided to become the first of his family to join the Air Force.

“Marcos comes to work everyday with a dynamic personality,” said Master Sgt. Lionel Garcia, 37th TRW Detachment 5 chief of protocol. “He provides a stern but also caring type of leadership. He does not care what color you are, he cares about bettering the people around him and making them feel welcomed. He is proud of his heritage and his team.”

As a fellow Mexican-American and peer of Marcos, Lionel aims to overcome the separation of diversity as an MTI.

“In my perspective, heritage is one of the most important things to embrace and use to develop our newest Airmen,” said Marcos. “It brings down the walls of diversity and allows deeper connections, which strengthens the bond between leaders and those that depend on their influence.”

Lionel emphasizes the duty of an MTI to set an example for the trainees. He showcases the need for diversity by encouraging those he supervises to embrace the cultures of others in the military to help make a stronger Air Force.

“Our detachment is a melting pot,” said Lionel. “As MTIs, the trainees see us as leaders of different cultures working together to create a team. We put our core-values over our differences. We judge one another for our actions and character instead of color of our skin. We all wear the same uniform.”

Marcos has embraced who he is and in turn developed himself into a leader who sets a prime example for the Airmen who come after him.

“Heritage molds the person who you are at your core,” said Marcos. “Your attitude, leadership and knowledge are all formed by your heritage. I owe everything that I have become to my heritage and my family, and I embrace my heritage everyday.”