MUÑIZ AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Puerto Rico --
U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Alvin Auffant Esquilin, a cyber surety specialist with the 156th Combat Communications Squadron, here, painted a mural of the legendary phoenix on one of the walls of his squadron building last June.
A known artist, Auffant has developed designs to represent organizations to which he has belonged in the military. Based on his artistic ability, Auffant was selected to tackle the team project of designing the new 156th CBCS morale emblem tasked by U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Troy Johnson, the 156th CBCS commander.
Airmen assigned to the CBCS brainstormed multiple ideas of symbols that would best represent the growth and resilience the new squadron had endured to achieve their initial operating capability phase amidst the challenges encountered to reach the minimum standards necessary to deploy.
From all the symbols proposed to represent the squadron, the phoenix was chosen for its associations with resurrection, resilience, endurance, power, and perpetual growth.
“We wanted something special and unique,” said Auffant. “We wanted something for us and by us, that would be there for a while, and that’s how we decided on a mural.”
Johnson selected a prominent wall on a main corridor to feature Auffant’s design to impact and inspire all who entered the CBCS.
“The phoenix is a creature that is born out of death, and it actually has to die in order to recreate itself,” said Johnson. “The phoenix mentality is that there may be failures, but we will grow and be bigger and stronger out of those failures to become successful. Anyone can adapt to that mentality.”
Auffant said that art is not only relatable but also evokes emotion and improves team morale.
We have a great team. We all support each other and we all focus on the same goal,” said Auffant. “We put in the effort, we put in the work, and we’re getting results.”