SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
Lt. Col. Kelvin Dumas is the commander of the 310th Operations Support Squadron, he is a 19 year veteran of the Air Force. The 310th OSS is his first command, and he has served at Schriever since 2007. He took some time out of his day to share some of his leadership perspectives.
1. How would you describe your leadership style?
I would describe my leadership style as servant leadership. I look at my command as a stewardship, taking care of those who have been entrusted to me by our nation, the Air Force and their families.
2. What was your motivation for joining the Air Force and where did you start your career?
Initially, my motivation was to find a way to pay for college. However, that changed the more involved I became in ROTC. The question that really opened my eyes during class was, “Why not me?” To paraphrase the prophet Isaiah, I said to myself, “Here am I, send me. I will go.” I love my family and country, why not serve in order to defend and protect what I love and hold dear? I started my career as a missileer at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota.
3. Who is a leader that stands out to you and why?
General Daniel “Chappie” James. Being from Tuskegee, Alabama, we always heard about James in school. I admired how he and his fellow Tuskegee Airmen displayed true patriotism, heroism and honor in the midst of segregation and racism. He was known for his boldness, inspirational speeches, no nonsense approach and credibility. James believed in the principles of our country.
4. What aspects of leadership are the most important to nurture?
The most important part of leadership to nurture is relationship building. Relationships are key to leading because no one leads alone. You have to invest in the people you lead and show them you care about them.
5. How do you prepare junior Airmen for leadership roles?
Mentor and set them up for success. Find opportunities for them to practice leadership. I believe you have to give people the opportunity to show what they can do as well as allow for mistakes.
6. What is an action or routine that you need to do every day?
I have to unwind from my day. I try not to take work home physically or mentally so that I can be actively present for my family.
7. Is there anything else you would like to add about leadership?
From my experience, in order to be a good leader you must be a good follower and learn to lead yourself first.