Commentary

July 6, 2012

I am an American Airman: I will not fail!

by Staff Sgt. Torri Savarese
F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo.

Early in my Air Force career, I overheard an NCO say, “The only tradition in the Air Force is constant change.” I should clarify that he more grumbled it than said it. I remember thinking how odd of an expression that was, and how the disdain in his voice was unmistakable. I was still very “blue” of course, so I had not had any of the Air Force newness wear off yet.

It wasn’t until about a year ago that I realized the newness had worn off. It was within my first few days of Airman Leadership School where it was explained to us that we were to learn the Airman’s Creed as part of our curriculum. Before even realizing what I was doing, I found myself spouting the same words I heard from that NCO, years before. “The only tradition in the Air Force is constant change,” I mumbled to my fellow classmates. Some of them laughed, some of them agreed, but I couldn’t shake the numb feeling that crept over me.

We all learned to recite the creed, and most of us could say it on the spot. There was something missing, though; something that lacked conviction and true feeling. I have heard many people grumble about the Airman’s Creed, saying it is fabricated motivation and just one more thing the Air Force is doing to inconvenience its Airmen. People who feel overworked and underappreciated ridicule the Air Force’s “attempt” to motivate its Airmen through something as ambiguous as a few stanzas jotted down on a page. I have to confess I was one of those people, until about a month ago.

June 1 was an exciting day for me. My brother-in-law, Jonathan Savarese, was graduating Basic Military Training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. It was the first time I had been back to Lackland since my own graduation almost six years ago. I wanted to make sure my uniform was perfect from head to toe, and that I was representing the NCO corps well. I knew the young Airmen graduating would look to me as an example of what the standard should be, and I knew I could not have one hair out of place.

The pass and review was spectacular; I had never seen anything like it before. Each Airman, so proud of their accomplishment, marched as straight and as perfect as it gets. I remembered how proud I was when I marched that same bomb run, and my eyes started to water. I held back emotion when every Airman pledged their Oath of Enlistment; their solemn promise to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. I was filled with pride to have these new Airmen as my brothers and sisters, knowing we all came from the very same place, and marched on the very same field.

The ceremony culminated with the reciting of the Airman’s Creed, which is something every new Airman is taught from their first day of BMT. I was worried the creed would come out as I have heard it so many other times – mumbled, morose and monotone. I was shocked when I heard the conviction of all the Airmen speaking in one voice, “I am an American Airman…” I wanted to join in with them halfway through their oration, and wasn’t surprised to see many other Airmen in the audience already had. The final line of the creed was not spoken; no, it was shouted in a unified voice that made the chills run up and down my spine – “AND I WILL NOT FAIL!”

I know that every Airman who comes into my keeping is still very “blue” like we all once were, and I know how important it is to grow that Airman into an exceptional NCO, despite my own prejudices. I ask all of my fellow NCOs to take a minute and reflect on your march down the bomb run. I ask each of you look at your “blue” Airmen and not snuff out the pride and excitement they have. Instead of trying to morph them into shells of their basic-trainee selves, mocking their motivation as something to be embarrassed about, can we cultivate the professionalism, pride and determination they come to us with? Can we let them remind us what it means to be an American Airman? This openness to change will ensure that we all will not fail.




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


 
 

 

News Briefs August 22, 2014

Pediatric flu shots The Immunizations Clinic will be vaccinating the Edwards pediatric community between the ages of 6 and 35 months.†When the adult stock is received, the dates will be released to vaccinate the remaining Tricare beneficiaries. The Immunization Clinic is open 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and noon-4:30 p.m., Wednesdays. The...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

Civil Air Patrol recruiting new members

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber Leaders of Civil Air Patrol Squadron 84 perform routine uniform checks during a weekly meeting on Edwards Air Force Base. Individuals interested in joining the Civil Air Patrol may attend a...
 
 

Changes to academic degree, developmental education expectations

Air Force officials announced actions designed to set clear expectations, restore Airmen’s time and refocus officer promotions on job performance. The Air Force has addressed long-standing perceptions that to be promoted, officers must complete an advanced academic degree, and those officers selected by a promotion board to attend developmental education in-residence, are expected to firs...
 

 
global-hawk2

Air Combat Command loans Global Hawk to GVCTF

Air Force photograph by Jennifer Romo The 412th Test Wing’s Global Vigilance Combined Test Force received a Global Hawk Block 40 Aug. 6, on loan from Air Combat Command. Tail number 2035, from Grand Forks AFB, N.D., is jo...
 
 
ecig

Danger: Electronic cigarettes can blow more than smoke

According to a 2014 Center for Disease Control report, cigarette smoking in our nation has reportedly been the cause of nearly 480,000 deaths, with more than 41,000 of these deaths caused by secondhand smoke. In an attempt to l...
 
 
ALS

ALS graduates 12 Airmen

Air Force graphic by Mark Wyatt The Edwards Education Center hosted the latest graduating class from Airman Leadership School Aug. 22. Class 14-F saw 12 Airmen take the next step towards more responsibility. Senior Airman Steph...
 




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>