MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. —
Wingman. Leader. Warrior. These are the words that U.S. Air Force Captain Michael Thrasher, a director of operations for the 5th Security Forces Squadron, lives by. Thrasher is responsible for providing security to the people, assets, and aircraft at Minot Air Force Base.
Thrasher has undergone years of intense military training and leadership development around the world, leading teams of Airmen behind enemy lines and defending the nation. Thrasher is not only a defender of the homeland, he is also protecting the goalpost. Now an Air Force Soccer Club coach (AFSC), Thrasher has been playing soccer since he was a child. In his time playing soccer, Thrasher played the role of midfielder.
The midfielder covers the most ground during a game, and they play a combination position of forward and defender. Thrasher used what he learned playing as a defender on the soccer field to better defend as an Airmen in Security Forces. In his soccer career, he has played on the All Air Force team, spent five years playing for the Alabama State Olympic Development Program, worked with the United States Air Force Academy Sports Camp and currently coaches the AFSC.
“My time coaching helped me develop as a captain on and off the field,” said Thrasher. “Because when you’re coaching you’re taking into account all of your people’s strengths and weaknesses. You consider how they help you strategically, and what they do well tactically.”
Thrasher states that how someone coaches a soccer team is how someone would lead a team of Airmen.
“You hone in on what each individual is best at, and put them in position to magnify their talents to help the overall team,” he said. “Knowing how to play your position in both instances can lead your team to victory, and not doing so can lead to loss. The more you know your team, and how you help your team, the stronger your team will become. Staying humble, being a team player, and completing the mission is where you find true growth as an individual.”
Thrasher fully accredits his motivation to the great teammates he’s had in his life, on and off the field.
“If you understand your role, and bloom where you’re planted, you can do great things,” he said. “As soon as I got to Minot I really didn’t know what to expect but the Paladins, and the 5th SFS helped me hit the ground running so fast.”
Captain Thrasher has defined being on a team not only in the Air Force, or Soccer, or family, but as a part of the biggest team, the human race.