What Drives Your Ethos, Warrior?

  • Published
  • By Col. Mohammed Khan
  • 341st Operations Group commander
Eight years ago this morning our Nation suffered a deliberate and devastating series of coordinated terrorist attacks. The loss of innocent, non-combatant life was staggering--nearly 3,000 civilians from more than 90 countries--and not unlike tragic moments of the past, we all remember where we were and what we were doing when we first viewed the images, and heard the reports of the Sept. 11 attacks. 

For those of us who were already serving in the military, we quickly turned to our training and focused our efforts and resolve in combating an enemy in a new, evolving, asymmetric warfare environment. And yet, one indelible constant remained, the United States of America was at war, and as such, once again turned to her Warriors...each of you. 

Many who were not serving in uniform on that fateful day found they had a higher calling to serve--many of you. And for each of us, answering our Nation's call to serve tapped into our inner strength, our personal courage, and our dedication to selfless service - the very foundations of a "Warrior Ethos." 

So what drives your ethos, Warrior? Was it Sept. 11, was it a motivation well before that fateful day, and does it continue now? I would submit that for each of us as leaders at every level, we must find a way to constantly remind ourselves of the basic and sacred tenets of duty, honor & country...how we each play an invaluable role in keeping our Nation free...and how we deter, with the world's most powerful weapons, those who would seek to do us harm. And we of the 341st Missile Wing serve, we provide, we "forward project" that 24/7/365 nuclear deterrent capability...and we do it as a team, we do it as a band of brothers and sisters with conviction, dedication, and an unequaled Warrior Ethos. 

What "reinvigorates" my own personal Warrior Ethos? Each one of you...you make the magic of our Mission happen every day. And 410 years after William Shakespeare penned the below "Henry V" Saint Crispen Day Speech, I find his prose brings into crystal clear focus who we are, and why we do, what we do, as Warriors. 

"From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers (& sisters);
For he (she) today that sheds his (her) blood with me
Shall be my brother (sister)..."