Commentary

September 6, 2013

Why do you serve?

Maj. RAYMOND CHESTER
56th Communications Squadron

People often ask me what I do. That question is quite easy to answer.

“I’m an officer in the United States Air Force.”

Every once in a while someone will follow up with, “What do you do in the Air Force?” That’s another easy answer.

“I command the communications squadron at Luke Air Force Base in Phoenix, Arizona.”

However, a question recently asked of me was a bit more difficult to answer. “Why do you do what you do?”

The answer to this question is important, because it not only helps us understand our service, but gives clarity to our true goals.

My father nudged me toward a stint in the Air Force in 1989. With few prospects in the civilian sector a couple years out of high school and recently married, the Air Force seemed the most stable option for our new family.

Several years later, my father asked why I stay in the Air Force. He said, “With the skills you’ve learned, surely the money is better on the outside.”

I have to admit early on my skepticism in that opinion was probably what kept me serving. I was never convinced I could make more money “on the outside.”

But over time, I realized it wasn’t about money, but what was it about? Was it the deep pride I felt in serving my nation? Perhaps it was seeing people smile when they learned I was in the military. Or perhaps it was being part of something much bigger than me. This is when I began to reflect on why I do what I do.

In Simon Sinek’s book, “Start with Why,” he talks about understanding the Golden Circle. It consists of three rings. On the outer ring is the “What” we do. For example, we serve in the world’s most powerful Air Force. Inside that ring is the “How” we serve. We serve as cyber Airmen, maintenance Airmen, operations Airmen, etc. At the center of the circle is the “Why.” The why is what inspires us to excel. The why runs at our very core and drives us to come in each day and individually give our best to our nation.

In the Air Force, one why is our wingmen. Airmen are driven by allegiance to each other. We depend on each other for food, security and support. It’s a form of camaraderie hard to find anywhere else. Our Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Gen. Mark Welsh, said that our nation gives us its national treasures, its sons and daughters, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers to do its business. At Luke, we call on our why to train the best fighter pilots and crew chiefs to support the mission downrange and to always be ready to answer the call. For every Airman, we serve because somewhere, someone is depending on us.

Understand your why. Let it be what drives you to excellence every day. It will offer you clarity and unending motivation to never let that someone down.




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


 
 

 
Staff Sgt. 
STACI MILLER

Luke ‘deploys’ youngest Airmen

Staff Sgt.STACI MILLER Gabriel Gutierrez, age 5, son of Staff Sgt. Arlene Gutierrez, 56th Security Forces Squadron, gives high fives as he goes through the welcome home line during Operation KIDS Saturday at Luke Air Forces Bas...
 
 

Warrior ethos puts will to test

It is important for us as warriors to put our physical fitness test in proper perspective. Airmen need to be physically able to do their job, and currently the Air Force measures their fitness with a simple test. This article is not to debate if the current test actually gives an accurate indication of fitness...
 
 

You, too, can empower innovation

Innovation is the lifeblood of progress. Without it we wouldn’t have the automobile, airplane or computer. We may have never made it to an industrial revolution. At every level of our species, from the individual level to the societal level, compelling change is how we grow, and it is innovators that drive this. In the...
 

 
Staff Sgt. Timothy Boyer

CES inspects base infrastructure

Staff Sgt. Timothy Boyer Staff Sgt. Steven Stein, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron electrical subject matter expert, points out a damaged water heater Oct. 24 to Senior Airman Sandham Challis, 56th CES structural subject matter exp...
 
 

News Briefs October 31, 2014

Base-wide exercise The 56th Fighter Wing will conduct a base-wide exercise Wednesday. The exercise will include military and local, county and state law enforcement, and fire departments. On and off-base residents should expect traffic disruptions, gate closures or delays, and interruptions of customer service operations. Expect to see simulated explosions, smoke, role players depicting individ...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Airman changes lanes in life

Courtesy photo Airman 1st Class Kelton Rall Those who have had a hard life often say it is hard to overcome the past. “It’s almost like climbing out of a dark hole – one mistake and you fall deeper into the abyss,” said...
 




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