As a veteran of the US Army who served in the Vietnam conflict (never really called a war) with an Assault Helicopter Unit, we saw the effective value of working in unity. A crew of four serving in various assault and lift missions epitomizes the job today working in the cockpit as a crew; working together united to get the job done. The helicopter crew also often united with other aircraft crews in formation to accomplish a mission.

Unity plays an important role to our success in today’s aviation mission; to eliminate dissensions and working united as one contributes to mission success and safety. Everyone served a purpose having a specific job to do, but everyone worked together united as one, thus an Assault Helicopter Unit.

Usually in an assault mission, the instructions came from elsewhere or a lead ship that was given information from ground intelligence. It was imperative to mission success that when the information was received by the commanding aircraft, that each aircraft commander (AC) and crew acted in unity, in one mid, and judgment. The pilot maneuvers toward the landing zone (LZ) to position the gunner to fire accordingly. Each crew and aircraft was united to the common mission.

Everyone wants to succeed; No one wants to fail. But the truth of a successful mission is to learning to work together as well as from our failures. The greatest lessons are learned form our failures. The fact is that we seldom learn form our successes. Someone defined, “Failure as success with  a fresh coat of paint on it.” Another said, “When you made your mark in the world, watch out for the guys with erasers.”

Success comes in “cans” and failure in “can nots”. Booker T. Washington summed it up this way, “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” Dr. Bob Jones Sr. put it this way, “The door to the room of success swings on the hinges of opposition.”

The reality is that in life, success and failure work united together; how we prevail is how well we live working united.

Jim Alexander