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.


 
 

 
NEW_1

Luke F-35s visit Columbus AFB

Airman 1st Class Daniel Lile A T-6 Texan II roars overhead as the pilots of two Luke Air Force Base F-35 Lightning IIs prepare to exit their aircraft July 23 at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. The pilots are Capt. Nichola...
 
 

Gillespie Loop: Honors Airman who made ultimate sacrifice

BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan — The men and women of the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing came together for a road dedication ceremony to honor Master Sgt. Randy Gillespie, a fallen Airman who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Master Sgt. Randy Gillespie was a career fuels specialist who died July 9, 2007, from wounds sustained during small...
 
 

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...
 
 
Pg-3--photo-illustration

Candid money talk improves relationship

There are many reasons why people divorce but at the top of the list are lack of communication and finances. That’s why it’s important to combine these two topics to make for a successful long-lasting relationship. “I bel...
 
 

News Briefs July 31, 2015

Total body conditioning class A new total body conditioning class is 6:30 and 9 a.m. Monday and Wednesday. The 6:30 a.m. class is broken into two half hour segments to accommodate squadron or individual physical training. The 9 a.m. class is one hour. The class consists of body weight movements and the use of equipment...
 




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>