Commentary

November 9, 2012

What does ‘Old Glory’ mean?

In any society, its heritage or legacy is fashioned and passed on by each generation. The Air Force is no different. The Air Force is a society and each new generation of Airmen has the duty and responsibility of carrying on the heritage. As leaders, you must celebrate our rich history and ensure the newest generations of Airmen practice and keep Air Force traditions alive.

A year ago, I assumed the duty of Airman Leadership School commandant. I thought to myself, what a privilege it is to serve in this capacity. Developing future leaders and preserving our enlisted heritage are topics close to my heart.

My excitement grew as my first day approached. During my studies, I reviewed the lesson titled Air Force Heritage. This lesson discusses many aspects of our military culture. My favorite topic in this lesson is drill and ceremony.

To think, I get to regularly perform military drill and ceremony traditions that date back to the Revolutionary War. More importantly, we take the time to pay respect to the U.S. flag, Old Glory. The U.S. flag is symbolic of the United States and the values “for which it stands.” Then why is it so many individuals, military and civilian alike, run inside buildings or to their vehicles to avoid participation in reveille and retreat?

On occasion my team of instructors and I have corrected reveille and retreat dodgers. Common responses are: “I did not know I had to do it with ALS” or “I thought I was only required to participate when the giant voice sounds on base.” Should it matter that ALS is conducting reveille and retreat?

Air Force Instruction 1-1, Air Force Standards, para. 1.6.2., Respect for the Flag states: The Flag of the United States is one of the most enduring and sacred symbols of our country. It represents the principles and ideals you have pledged to defend and for which many have made the ultimate sacrifice. Airmen shall treat it with the same respect due to the highest military and public officials.

Nowhere in the AFI does it state you can pick and choose when to participate in reveille and retreat. Instead, the AFI directs immediate action and reminds us that our customs and courtesies reflect the unique nature of our profession and guides significant aspects of our behavior.

In essence, it doesn’t matter if reveille and retreat occurs at multiple times or in different locations on base; you must always render the proper customs and courtesies.

Another example is some participants in reveille and retreat don’t take it seriously. I’ve witnessed people laughing during ceremonies and displaying a lack of military bearing. When this occurs I am livid. People have lost their lives in defense of this flag. Then, I realize those individuals have no idea of the importance of the activity. They are just going through the motions. We must always take the opportunity to educate anyone who fails to give respect to the flag.

As a Haitian American my mother instilled in me the value of freedom. I understood the concept of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” before I decided to serve. We must never lose sight of those rights.

Simply put, the next time you look at the U.S. flag or participate in military drill and ceremony honoring the flag, take a moment to remember those serving and those who have served. Never forget those sacrifices. That is what Old Glory means to me.




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


 
 

 
Senior Airman Devante Williams

Luke 1 brings home flagship

Senior Airman Devante Williams Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing commander, speaks with the press after landing the flagship F-35 Lightning ll joint strike fighter Tuesday at Luke Air Force Base. The flagship’s arriva...
 
 

Every Airman has a voice

While Gen. Mark Welsh III was here at Luke Air Force Base, he discussed the importance of listening to your young Airmen, and making sure they feel empowered to have open dialogue and share ideas within their chain of command. As the NCO in charge of my section, I took General Welsh’s words to heart...
 
 

Off-base activities build your CAF

The Critical Days of Summer draw near. I know that in our shop this kicks off a slew of safety briefings about how to minimize the chance of injuries and stay out of danger. However, this shouldn’t discourage you from going out and exploring the Valley of the Sun. Luke is an amazing base because...
 

 
Senior Airman 
MARCY COPELAND

Love thy feet

Senior AirmanMARCY COPELAND Senior Airman Yadria Wood, 56th Medical Operations Squadron aerospace medical technician, wraps a toe after a wedge resection is performed April 16 on Luke Air Force Base. The human foot contains 26 ...
 
 

News Briefs May 1, 2015

BMGR IEC convenes The Intergovernmental Executive Committee for the Barry M. Goldwater Range will convene at 5:30 p.m. May 13 in Cabela’s Conference Room at 9380 W. Glendale Ave., Glendale. The IEC meets three times per year to facilitate the exchange of views, information and advice relating to the Air Force and Marine Corps’ management...
 
 

Trainee breaks 90 percent, never looks back

“Lee, get off my track!” the instructor yelled. The time clock showed that 21 minutes had passed. Everyone in my flight was finished with the mile-and-a-half run except me. I didn’t finish. Before that we had been mock tested on the sit-up and pushup portion of the test. I performed six sit-ups and zero pushups...
 




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