Commentary

April 5, 2013

What If

Maj. Aaron Maynard
9th Munitions Squadron command

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — How many of us can truthfully say they don’t have regrets? I’m talking about the times you have asked yourself, what if? What if I had taken those college classes? What if I had worked a little harder toward making rank? What if I had capitalized on an opportunity when it was presented to me? Many times in life do we convince ourselves we’re so busy trying to kill the closest gator to the boat that we aren’t putting forth the effort necessary to accomplish things that have a positive impact on our lives. Far too many times we avoid doing the things that might cost a little time, a little aggravation, and a little hard work in the beginning but pays huge dividends in the end.

We’re all aware of the importance of finishing a Community College of the Air Force, bachelor’s or master’s degree, but how many times have you excused yourself from starting your first class or even going to the education office to get a degree plan drawn up? You’ve probably told yourself, “I just don’t have time to go over there,” or “I’m just so busy with work. I’ll get signed up for classes next month.” I’m sure you know someone who retired after 20 years in the Air Force and the one thing they told you was they regret not making the time to go to school. When I say you need to make the time available to go to school this is key in the equation because it’s too easy to say we don’t have time. I can tell you that when I was an airman 1st class I felt the same way. It wasn’t until I talked with someone in this situation I realized I didn’t want to be like them in 20 years. The simple fact is, if you think you’re too busy as an Airman, NCO or company grade officer to tackle your education, then you’re wrong.

A good example of the importance of accomplishing educational goals is the unit I’m commanding right now. The 9th Munitions Squadron is responsible for training all active duty, guard, and reserve Air Force 7 and 9 level ammo Airmen from 126 bases; that equals 560 students each year. In order to be considered for a position as a member of our cadre, you must have completed your CCAF. Throughout the year we receive calls from extremely sharp, high speed, low-drag NCO’s who want to work here but don’t have their CCAF. Most are turned away asking what if I had only finished my CCAF? As you progress in rank you’ll soon realize the time you have becomes scarcer and not using the time you have now could ultimately impact opportunities in your career.

You should also be aggressively pursuing your professional military education. Whether you’re officer or enlisted, PME often gets put off because we convince ourselves once again, that we’re just too busy. The fact is, many people will use their job or some other excuse for not tackling PME sooner rather than later. Speaking from personal experience as an Airman, NCO, CGO, and now a field grade officer, I can promise you that having your PME finished will vastly improve chances for promotion, assignments, and provide opportunities in all aspects of your life. Believe me when I say, supervisors want to push you for that annual award, put you in for a decoration, and help get a choice assignment for you. The reality for many Airmen is the failure to hold up their end of the bargain leaves them unable to take advantage of the best opportunities possible.

We’ve all seen this happen to someone we know. Or maybe I’m talking about you right now. I have two friends who retired in 2012 and followed completely different paths. One individual didn’t complete his education or participate in anything else to enhance his personal or professional potential. He recently told me that he’s submitted 85 resumes and continues to ask, “What if.” The second individual tackled opportunities head-on and left the Air Force with a master’s degree and had finished all PME equal to his grade. He landed his “dream” job.

Opportunities come in many different forms and whether that’s a college degree or PME. The choices to take advantage of those opportunities will have an impact. Don’t be the Airman who has to ask himself, “What if”.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Iraqi Security Forces repel ISIL attack

WASHINGTON – An attempt by 20 to 25 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant fighters to attack al Asad Air Base in Iraq was repulsed by “ready and able” Iraqi security forces, the Pentagon press secretary said today. “The attempted attack was led, we believe, by at least several … suicide attackers,” Navy Rear...
 
 

Avoid online dangers, unfriendly users on social media

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The internet instantaneously allows you to reach out across the internet superhighway to share information or connect with loved ones.  Despite how innocuous this may seem, without taking the proper precautions, your personal information can inadvertently fall into the wrong hands. “You have to assume that everyone is looking at it,” said...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Timothy Boyer)

Flyovers: Sight, sound of freedom

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — They are breathtaking, flawless and can cause the viewer to have goosebumps. They look easy, but, according to those who perform them, flyovers take training, skill and precise decisions to ex...
 

 

Air Force seeks $10 billion over sequestration funding

WASHINGTON – The demand for Air Force capabilities is increasing, therefore the service is requesting $10 billion more than sequestration-level funding provides, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said today in Orlando, Florida. Speaking during the Air Force Association Air Warfare Symposium and Technology Exposition, James discussed why the Air Force is taking its strongest...
 
 

75 day leave carryover ends Sept. 30

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) — Effective Sept. 30, military members will no longer be able to carry more than 60 days of leave into the next fiscal year, in accordance with 2013 National Defense Authorization Act requirements. Unless they are approved for special leave accrual, regular Air Force and Active Guard Reserve, or...
 
 

Generals outline Combat Air Force’s future challenges

ORLANDO, Fla. (AFNS) — Four senior Air Force leaders discussed key issues facing the nation’s Combat Air Forces at the Air Warfare Symposium here, Feb.12. During the hour-long discussion, leaders touched on budget concerns, ongoing operations against the Islamic State of Iraq in the Levant terrorist group, the future of fifth-generation fighters like the F-22 Raptor and F-35A...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin