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.


 
 

 
Rain

Lakefront property …

A staff sergeant watches as water continues to flood a parking lot Monday in front the 61st Aircraft Maintenance Unit on Luke Air Force Base. The base experienced a two-inch rainfall causing flooding and delays around Luke.
 
 
courtesy-photo

Program ALIS initiated

No, it isn’t the Program Alice from the “Resident Evil” movies. It is the Autonomic Logistics Information Systems, also known as ALIS, which enables F-35 Lightning II operators to plan ahead to maintain and sustain its sy...
 
 

‘The butterfly effect’

Shortly after taking command, the Wild Duck Aircraft Maintenance Unit officer in charge requested I explain to his Airmen exactly what the pilots would be doing on training missions during an upcoming temporary duty. I was embarrassed that he had to ask. In this specific case, I had thoughtlessly kept these details from our closest...
 

 

Advise Airmen of rights before asking questions

Every day supervisors are faced with challenging scenarios and situations that require them to engage in efforts to help their Airmen. When this engagement is due to a negative act such as theft, damage to property or other possible legal violations, we must resist the instinct to question them directly. One scenario I am presented...
 
 
Senior Airman 
GRACE LEE

Thunderbolts save volts

Senior AirmanGRACE LEE A solar array panel stands on a dormitory roof Sept. 3 at Luke Air Force Base. There are currently four active solar arrays on base. The solar array shown will produce hot water to the dormitory. With res...
 
 

News Briefs September 12, 2014

GOV service station closure The Base Service Station (government-owned vehicle gas station) will close at midnight Sept. 28 and reopen at midnight Oct. 1. For more information, email Staff Sgt. Bradley Ahlemeyer at bradley.ahlemeyer@us.af.mil or call 623-856-7391. Quit tobacco for 31 days The Stoptober Challenge is to be smoke free for the month of October....
 




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