Customs and Courtesies

  • Published
  • By Col. Anthony Cotton
  • 341st Missile Wing commander
Military tradition... For members of the Armed Forces, it is vital to maintaining good order and discipline. So let's spend a couple of minutes on military tradition. Let's break it down further into customs and courtesies.

You may recall from Basic, USAFA, ROTC, or OTS, a custom is a way of acting; courtesies are a form of polite behavior and excellence in manners. It is a mutual respect among members of the Armed Services. It's one of the traditions that bind military personnel together. It is every Airman's responsibility to ensure these traditions continue to be passed along well beyond the time each of us hangs up our uniform for the final time.

You will find that military life creates many situations, not always found in civilian life, that require exceptional behavior. These actions are derived from respect and courtesy when dealing with fellow military members, and have progressed as a result of the need for units to instill and maintain order. It is that mutual respect and courtesy that I fully expect the men and women of Team Malmstrom to possess...24/7.

Render the proper salute when a placarded staff car approaches; pay proper respect to the Colors during reveille or retreat. Don't get me wrong, 99% of our team gets it, but there are some that need reminding. First impressions leave lasting impressions. Each member assigned to Malmstrom AFB represents our Wing; our Air Force. Each member represents being part of an organization that, year after year, is seen as one of the most respected of all professions.

Wing One, it's time to police the actions of a few. When you see an Airman miss a salute or duck in a building to avoid reveille or retreat, approach them and have a discussion with them about the need to render the proper courtesies. Extending the proper customs and courtesies should be commonplace. Team Malmstrom, demonstrate your high level of professionalism and respect for the military way of life every day. Why would we want anything less?