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The Boring side of leadership

  • Published
  • By 1LT Danielle D. Lucero
  • 31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

There were crowds of people and hearts racing as the adrenaline pumped through their bodies. The sounds around were muffled by the narrow streets and concrete buildings and the upcoming plan for survival ran through minds.


In a matter of 50 seconds, the craziest, scariest and most exciting moment of U.S. Air Force Col. Boring’s life was over. But the adrenaline lingered for several days after visiting Spain, to run with the bulls - 12 to be exact.


Col. Chris Boring, 31st Maintenance Group Commander, would do it all over again, as his list of adrenaline-based adventures continues to grow.


“Life is really about living your life, and feeling alive and being alive, your journey is what you make of it,” said Boring.


When Boring and his wife, Carla, received an assignment to Aviano Air Base, they made a promise to each other to travel to a new place and explore at least once every two months.


In his career of almost 30 years, Boring has sometimes put his career before his family.


“I have had to make this assignment a corrective behavior,” said Boring. “In other assignments I have been consumed with work and always knew my family was going to be there and things would be fine, but my commitment to my wife is that we would explore.”


Staying true to this commitment, the Boring’s are able to bring back what they learn from humanity and other cultures and use it in their leadership abilities.


They have effectively used public transportation, bought the cheapest airfare and stayed in discounted hotel rooms or hostels.


“Of course people think the Colonel can travel the world, but we are doing it very cheaply,” said Boring.


One of Boring’s biggest advice for Team Aviano is to work hard, but when you get the opportunities to travel and do things around the area, do them. He also suggests using resources available such as Facebook and the advice from friends and family around the area.


When Boring is not in search for his next adventure he is using his leadership experience to deliberately care for, support and connect with Airmen and their families.


“I wanted to do this for my family, and I recognized it wasn’t about me,” said Boring. “It was about caring for people because I did not always have great supervision. I know the most successful and greatest supervisors are people who care about people who work for them. I had supervision that didn’t care about the work I did or the work I was doing.”


As a prior enlisted Airman, his vision of being a leader came from a multitude of places, but just like most of us, there is always someone in the back of your mind you want to make proud.


“I wanted to be someone my grandma would always be proud of,” said Boring. “She wanted me to go to school, work hard and always go to the next level and try to give back and be a better leader.”


Col. Boring doesn’t know what’s next for his career. He takes every assignment as it comes to him. He loves working with the Airmen, making a difference in people’s lives and hearing the roar of a jet engine.


“Life is about the journey you take, not the destination, this really resonates with me,” said Boring. “I have tried to make my life about the journey and make a difference to people, by lifting them up. It’s easy to see hate and see darkness. But I have tried to make my AF journey about uplifting other people. By making one person better, it allows them to make others better.”


Col. Boring’s biggest focus is to invest in and develop highly skilled professional Airmen that are prepared to win today’s fight and ready to win tomorrow’s fight. He does this by listening to feedback about the 31st Maintenance Group and the Air Force as a whole. 


He believes by unlocking peoples talents, keeping standards, and trusting Airmen can cause a culture change that makes a difference.


Finally, Boring knows that his support system has molded him to be the person he is today.


“You need someone to tell you the truth, and Carla is that,” said Boring. “She is a wife, a travel agent, and a best friend. She holds many titles. She tells me how it is, and I need that - to be honest with me, even when I don’t want to hear it. Most importantly she is my girlfriend; and I am devoted to treating her that way every day.”


Col. Boring suggests website, for exploration and adventure.