Commentary

August 23, 2013

What’s in a name? Power, pride, identity

Maj. MELINDA SANTOS
56th Maintenance Group
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;”

Was Shakespeare mistaken when he wrote the above words for Juliet to speak?

Studies have shown there is preference in a name. Attractive or popular names affect our attitudes and expectations about their owners. It may also lead to high self-esteem and high self-esteem yields achievement motivation.

People can be partial to their alma mater, quickly identifying themselves as a Texas A&M University Aggie, University of Florida Gator, Louisiana State University Tiger or a University of Oklahoma Sooner. No matter which school you support, the name is more than a name. It represents what someone endured to get their degree. It represents a hometown, and for some, it may represent a dream of things to come. A name is powerful.

Now, what does any of this have to do with the military? Having a sense of ownership of your organization and the name under which you fall can determine how you perceive your unit and affect your experience. What is your organization’s war cry? Those who stand firm behind the name of their organization are more likely to make a more cohesive unit.

A good example is the 56th Civil Engineer Squadron. If you have been to a promotion ceremony, it is likely you have heard them yell, “What is your profession?” While the response is simply “Engineering,” the power with which it is said speaks for itself. It is no wonder why they have won many warrior cry competitions.

An organization’s name, or warrior cry, can quickly communicate so much to so many. Moreover, it may communicate underlying paradigms to everyone in the organization. It builds an identity for your organization which may foster improved esprit de corps. Creating or improving your organization’s identity may increase organizational integrity and act as a quick reminder of what the mission and focus is for your unit. It can show accomplishment or help set a goal to achieve. Getting as many people involved in the process ensures it is more than just a platitude yelled at a promotion ceremony or graduation.

The next time you are at a wing event, listen to the war cries. Does it accurately depict the organization? Does it rally support? Creating a collective identity leads a person to make a statement such as “I am a Duck” (309th Fighter Squadron or Aircraft Maintenance Unit), “I am AMMO,” or “I am Weapons.” It brings about a sense of pride in an organization. Have you helped build the identity of your unit?

While Juliet pleas that the names of things do not matter, only what things are, I contend a name, or rather a well-crafted warrior cry, can empower and unite. In the end a name, an identity, can make a difference.




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


 
 

 

Who’s afraid of a little blood?

I have been in the Air Force for 22 years and have been a medical laboratory technician since the beginning of my career. The medical or clinical laboratory is where specimens are tested to provide information to medical providers who directly assist in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease in patients. After graduating basic...
 
 

Pursue education for career’s sake

Everyone knows education can be a good bullet on an enlisted performance report, but few know the true value of an education in regard to a military career. The pursuit of an education can be just as valuable as the degree acquired at the end. The knowledge acquired in the pursuit of an education can...
 
 
This-week-in-history

This week in history

1945: P-51 Transition Training Luke Field instructors began to teach a transition course in the North American P 51 Mustang 70 years ago this month when 13 of the aircraft arrived at Luke Field. In the following months, instruc...
 

 
foodnetworkstar

Fly Over: ‘Rose and Crown Pub’ and ‘Food Network Star’

‘Rose and Crown Pub’ A beautiful green countryside, day after day of cloudy skies, rain and fog, and chilly winters and humid summers — if this sounds more appealing to you than sun and desert heat, you’re probably bett...
 
 

Chaplain’s thoughts …

Our generation loves to hear inspiring stories — tales about exceptional heroes who fear nothing and succeed even during difficult times. Yet these extraordinary characters, admired by the people, can only be found in the comics. They’re called super heroes; because one day, by a stroke of luck, they were given incredible powers. However, the...
 
 

How do you stack up?

With upcoming changes to the enlisted performance report and Air Force promotion system, it’s important to understand how you stack up against your peers, not only within your job, but within your unit as well. The days of receiving time in grade and time in service points are numbered. They are being replaced with a...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>