EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
“I want to be a good person, I want to be a good chief and I do believe in leaving a legacy, not for me but for the next generation.”
Chief Master Sgt. Yasmeen Wilson, 33rd Fighter Wing command chief, realized early on in her career that she had a responsibility to use her voice and make a difference for future Airmen.
“As a new chief I attended a conference where I met Chief Shelina Frey,” Wilson said. “During the conference, she would pull female chiefs to the side and mentor us. One of the things she told us was, ‘What I am doing with you here right now, is your responsibility to do at your installations with your Airmen.’”
During her time here, Wilson reached out to other chiefs and presented the idea of creating a group where women, military or civilian, could sit down and discuss personal issues.
“We brainstormed to figure out how to execute this idea, and we came up with W.I.N.G.S., Women Inspiring the Next Generation’s Successes,” Wilson said. “We wanted to make sure that the female perspective had a voice but that it wasn’t the only voice.”
W.I.N.G.S. is open to everyone on Eglin Air Force Base, men and women. Their main goal is to open the lines of communication and mentorship. They focus on personal and professional development, strengthening interpersonal communication skills, heightening self-awareness and encouraging self-confidence.
“When we started W.I.N.G.S., we didn’t want to exclude men from the conversation,” Wilson said. “We think it’s extremely important for women to hear men’s perspective. It shouldn’t only be women hearing women’s perspective because that wouldn’t open up the conversation.”
Wilson’s goal was to get W.I.N.G.S. started and running smoothly before she retired this year.
“I ran our last meeting and handed over the reins to three amazing chiefs over at the medical group,” Wilson said. “I believe the organization is going to flourish with them leading.”
Wilson hopes that W.I.N.G.S. will expand with the years to come.
“We want people to know that it is okay to ask questions and to feel uncertainty,” Wilson said. “You are not alone in that, we have all gone through it and are here to give the support you need.”