Commentary

November 15, 2013

‘Keep calm, carry on …’

Col. Konrad Klausner
92nd Air Refueling Wing Mission Support Group commander

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. — The slogan, developed in 1939 by the British government at the brink of World War II, still holds true today. With government shut down, sequestration, furloughs, etc., Airmen’s confidence in the future may be shaken.

Change and reductions have already started. What we do not know is just how far cuts will go. The future state of our military is a blend of strategy and politics determined by our strategic leaders and Congress. We have little to no control over this outcome, other than providing our chain of command the information and capability to shape the final decision.

Are we powerless in this time of undefined change? Not at all. The ability to control our corners of the world exists. We can prepare to flex to our future state while continuing to execute the mission of the Air Force.

Real, life-changing events are happening now and impacting our lives. To weather the storm, help yourself and your Airmen build the best foundation possible, personally and professionally.

Supervisors, mentor and talk to subordinates. Encourage them to further their education, pay off debt and excel in their specialty and occupation. Strengthening their personal position gives the confidence and security to absorb a major life change. Airmen, stay informed of the situation and surrounding environment, join professional organizations to expand influence and education, and network with colleagues to better understand the world around you.

Our mission is to fly, fight and win … in air, space and cyberspace. No matter the direction our Air Force takes with regard to future budget and strategy, our mission will remain the same. Become the best Airman possible, strengthen technical competence and innovate to cut waste and retain capability and infrastructure.

By focusing on individual spans of control and spheres of influence, we can lead our Airmen, shops and units through uncertain times. Change and reductions are upon us now. Control and shape the future before the future shapes you.

In the movie After Earth, Cypher Raige, played by Will Smith, said, “The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not- at present and may not ever- exist.”

Don’t get paralyzed by fear of the future. Instead, prepare for its inevitability … Keep Calm [prepare] and Carry On.




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