Commentary

February 20, 2014

Always an Airman

Tags:
1st Lt. David Liapis
39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Senior Airman Chase Hedrick, 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs photojournalist, observes his reflection Feb. 3, 2013, at Incirlik Air Base Turkey. Airmen are Airmen whether in uniform or not, and should ensure their conduct always meets and exceeds the standards of the Air Force they represent.

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey-I am an Airman, but only from 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday and occasionally on the weekend. The rest of the time, I am just a person trying to have a good time. What I do during my off duty time doesn’t have any bearing on my military career, nor should it.

“Say what?!” you might ask. And, rightfully so.

The truth is I don’t believe that statement one bit. However, there are a handful of Airmen who do.

“So, why write a commentary directed at a very small percentage of the Air Force population?” you might wonder.

I’ll tell you why. Because even if we’re not one of those few Airman, we may very well supervise, work with, or even for, one of those Airmen. We all have the opportunity and responsibility to promote a culture where we embrace an “Always an Airman” concept.

Being an Airman is not just a job, it’s a way of life. Serving in the United States Air Force is a privilege that is sometimes taken for granted. Yes, we all volunteered to be here; but the Air Force put us through basic military training and verified we could meet the standards required of those worthy of wearing the uniform. That training and evaluation continues throughout our careers, and the standards are never lowered to match the lowest common denominator.

Our conduct must meet these standards all the time, and not just while we are accomplishing duty-related tasks. We can joke all we want about the phrase, “there is no off duty” because for some Airmen that feels like the story of their lives working 12-16 hour days. All joking aside however, the responsibilities that come with being an Airman don’t have a start and finish time.

I’m sure you’ve heard someone say, “All Airmen are ambassadors,” especially in relation to overseas assignments. This clichÈ statement could not be truer and relates directly to our conduct. Take a look at the recent cheating and drug abuse scandals. Do you think the actions of a handful of Airmen who failed to meet the standards both on and off duty tarnishes the image of the entire force? Absolutely.

Any time an Airman makes the news for doing something wrong, it’s a blow to the credibility of our team. It’s our responsibility to do all we can to not only meet, but exceed the standards. As we do so, we build trust, support and credibility at home and abroad.

We don’t claim to be the greatest Air Force in the world because someone suggested that might be true. We claim it because it is true. And why is it true? Because of the collective efforts of individual Airmen who strive to be the best Airmen we can be all the time and ensure the headlines proclaim all the good we do all over the world on a daily basis.

We have to Step Up 24/7 and seize upon every opportunity to excel through training, education and professional development. We must Step In 24/7 and eradicate sexual assault, alcohol abuse and misuse, and suicide from our Air Force. We have been empowered by our leadership to be a part of the solution, so let’s own it!

Here’s my personal Airman’s Creed: I am always an Airman. This is MY Air Force. I represent it 24/7, and I will do everything within my power to ensure I and every Airman represents it well.

Will you join me?




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


 
 

 
earthquake

Don’t let some recent shaking get you rattled

Background image from California Institute of Technology’s Southern California Earthquake Data Center Earthquakes are nothing new to residents in SoCal, but the recommended safety measures can be. Like most of California,...
 
 

News Briefs April 11, 2014

31st TES fundraiser The 31st Test and Evaluation Squadron Booster Club will hold a car wash fundraiser at the Bowling Center 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., April 18. Get your car clean and help support the 31st TES. Volunteer appreciation Brig. Gen. Michael T. Brewer, 412th Test Wing commander, cordially invites you to attend the Edwards Air...
 
 

AFPC has expanded voluntary FM program waiver authority

The Air Force Personnel Center has been granted expanded waiver authority to waive some active duty service commitments for Airmen interested in voluntary separation under the fiscal year 2014 force management program, AFPC officials announced April 3. For example, we now have the authority to waive aviation retention pay (which requires recoupment of the unserved...
 

 

Gaining Altitude – Growth Opportunities for the Week

Through our character – an opportunity to reflect on important issues in our community - There is an old saying: “Give someone a fish and you feed them for a day; teach someone to fish and you feed them for life.” The same is true in developing character.  You can give a law or command...
 
 
afrc-x56c

X-56A testbed arrives at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center

NASA photograph by Ken Ulbrich The diminutive X-56A Multi-Use Technology Testbed, mounted on a small trailer, is pulled away from its home for the past year, Hangar 4305 at Edwards’ North Base. The latest in a long series...
 
 

Air Force updates officer, enlisted voluntary force management eligibility lists*

Select Airmen in specific categories who were not formerly eligible for fiscal year 2014 force management voluntary separation are now being offered voluntary separation. These individuals will not be subject to involuntary programs in fiscal year 2014. Officers from 33 Air Force specialty codes by year group and enlisted Airmen from seven AFSCs by grade...
 




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>