I got to attend the ATA conference as a rep for The Pilot Network over the days that I officially released my book. It was a fun experience and a bit of a reunion. I also gained some fascinating insight into interacting with senior military leaders after leaving full-time military service. Here’s the teaser to get you started:
What do you sell at a military trade show? It turns out there’s a lot…ish.
I just spent part of a week representing The Pilot Network at the annual Airlift/Tanker Association (ATA) conference in Orlando. It was a fun and fascinating experience. If you’re in the military and you’ve never been, ask your boss to send you TDY next year. If you’re not in the military, but you want to go, ask Matt Swee or Adam Uhan if you can help next year as a rep for TPN or one of our other sponsors.
Despite my perhaps unforgiving reception of the mass-messaging, It was interesting talking to individual leaders one-on-one. The ATA sets aside time for O-6s and above to walk through the vendor exhibit hall and speak with each of us. I got to go toe-to-toe with Colonels and Generals to explain what TPN is, help promote our sponsors, and to talk about the big issues in the Air Force.
I was very pleased to note that most of the O-6s I talked to get “it” on issues like pilot retention. One of them outlined his idea for fixing things, and it fit perfectly with my own ideas on the matter. Our mutual conclusion seemed to be: “Why the hell aren’t we doing this?”