Who is your inspiration?

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Julie Stola
  • 341st Medical Operations Squadron
What type of person inspires our military members to do what we ask of them each and every day? Could that person be Ms. Anna Nicole Smith? In the news, we have seen Ms. Smith mentioned so often that I've had to ask myself if someone like her might possess qualities that inspire our Airmen. There is at least a part of her life story which some people must find inspirational. She did have a goal and set her mind towards achieving the goal of becoming someone. Many of us in the military have a similar goal: to do something meaningful with our life which could be an inspiration to others.

Although I haven't read a whole lot about Ms. Smith, I suspect she had someone who inspired her to make something of her life. What about the female astronaut Lisa Marie Nowak? I know she inspired many young women to follow their dreams of becoming an astronaut. She set some high goals for her life and then, like Ms. Smith, someone or something distracted her from those goals.

Jacqueline Cochran is an inspiration to me and may have been an inspiration to many young females. As the foremost woman flyer of her time, she directed the Women Airforce Service Pilots during World War II. These women, who transported planes overseas, tested various military aircraft, taught aerial navigation and provided target towing to free up men so they could fight in the war, were never given official military status during that time. It wasn't until June 12, 1948, that Congress passed the Women's Armed Forces Integration Act and doors opened for women to be a permanent element of the newly independent Air Force. Women finally had a woman in the service who fought for their right to serve and who would help inspire them as members of the military.

Who is the person who really inspires you to make something of your life and more importantly, what motivates you to stay the course? Those of us in the military have both mentors and leaders who inspire us, and our Core Values are there to assist us to stay on course.

Integrity first - speak the truth. If you make a mistake, admit it. Don't try to cover it up. I've seen many cases where trying to cover up only makes it worse.

Excellence in all we do - that means not only to the point of success, but the follow-through that must occur afterwards. It's when you're at your peak that others will be watching you to see what happens.

Service before self - it is not for our own gain that we join the military and we can not forget that concept.

What type of person inspires you to do what we ask of you each and every day? Who is your inspiration? Is it someone like Ms. Smith or perhaps like Jacqueline Cochran? If it's someone in the military, I'll bet that they live by the core values each and every day. It's how they stay the course.