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Leading a Discussion With Your Airmen on "Esprit De Corps"



“Esprit De Corps”

 (Command Teams: Use this template to customize your discussion)

Download the template HERE


Introduction – This discussion addresses the Air Force Institutional Competencies of Embodies Airmen Culture and Fostering Collaborative Relationships.  Esprit de corps is an integral to mission accomplishment.  Esprit de corps is a feeling of pride and fellowship that is shared by members of a particular group.  This common loyalty is often felt by high performing teams in military organizations.  In the Air Force, obvious examples of the teams might be the Thunderbirds or the Air Force Honor Guard.  The purpose of this discussion is for participants to value the power of esprit de corps as evidence of Airmen feeling that they strongly connect with their fellow Airmen, their unit, the mission, and the Air Force.

Learning Objectives –  

1.       Understand what is meant by the term “esprit de corps”

2.       Know the importance of esprit de corps for teams and mission success

3.       Be able to assess their own and others esprit de corps

4.       Know some steps to foster esprit de corps in their unit

Main Points

1.  What is esprit de corps? 

2.  What is your level of esprit de corps with regard to your unit/the Air Force? (Why?) 

3.  What steps can we take to develop/foster/enhance the unit esprit de corps?


1.       A video of precision teamwork by the United States Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team to promote esprit de corps.

2.       An article by CMSgt Jeffrey Banks - Building Morale and esprit de corps

Additional resources / links – Suggest integrated other videos or articles that might more directly apply at the local level as evidence of the impact of organizations that have high levels of esprit de corps.


·         Goal: To increase communication among command teams and their Airmen to facilitate trust team building and foster esprit de corps. This lesson will facilitate that goal while discussing a specific topic with a small group members of your unit (this goal can remain for every module).

·         Questions for Command Teams to discuss:

o   Why do you think this conversation is important?

o   What do you want your Airmen to walk away from this discussion with?

o   What group will you be discussing this topic with (i.e., First-Term Airmen, CGOs, NCOs/SNCOs, civilians, supervisors, flight commanders)?

o   What forum will you be discussing this in (i.e. as part of a staff meeting, at a stand-alone event, at a commander’s call, during a brown-bag lunch session)?

o   Who will lead the discussion? Which Command Team members have a role?

·         For additional information on how to facilitate discussions, recommend reviewing the Facilitator’s Guide under the “Leading Squadron-Centered Learning” tab.

·         For additional resources on the topic, click on the “Additional Resources” link.


·         Introduction – What we’re going to talk about today and why

·         Goal – to keep the importance of esprit de corps in the forefront of our minds

·         Timeframe – 30 minutes

·         Part I – Read the attached article and watch the video, then we’ll discuss what we’ve read/seen.

·         Part II – Discussion (The samples are a starting point – use to customize the lesson)

o   SAMPLE DISCUSSION QUESTION 1: Why do you think esprit de corps matters?

o   SAMPLE DISCUSSION QUESTION 2: How do you think we can do a better job of talking about morale and esprit de corps?

o   SAMPLE DISCUSSION QUESTION 3: How can we bridge the gap between how we talk about the esprit de corps and what we do day-to-day to foster esprit in the unit?

Part III – What do you want your Airmen to walk away with? Do you want to challenge them to take action or change their behavior or step out of their comfort zone as a result of this discussion?