Four keys to an AF mission

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. David Ortegon
  • 341st Operations Group Superintendent
When we all complete basic military training, technical training schools, Officer Training School, ROTC or the Military Academies, we gained some understanding of what the Air Force and the Department of Defense are looking for in us as individuals.  We hear it in different forms, but usually it can be boiled down to a mantra touted by an awesome commander - Lt. Col. Ty Gilbert.  His mantra is of all the things we have to do in the AF, it usually fits into these four areas - be good at what you do, be part of the team, be fit and be here tomorrow.

From the day we are born until we pay the final price of life we are training, learning and applying life skills.  The AF expects many things from us that have not changed much from the time we raised our right hand to support and defend the Constitution.  They trained us to do a job.  It became our responsibility to learn and grow in what was taught.  The longer we serve, the more the AF raises expectations, testing our abilities to do more.  We must improve not just job knowledge, but overall knowledge through continued and professional military education.  We must continually strive to become better leaders, supervisors and servants to those around us because we need to fulfill the promise to be good at what we do.

We are a team of many levels.  The flight, squadron, group, wing and higher headquarters all have their needs that we provide some level of satisfaction.  In order to lead, help, work with or succeed as an individual we need to be an "active" part of the team.  There is also the team of family, friends and loved ones.  Without finding a balance between these two competing forces, being happy at what we do can become infinitely more difficult.  Some members do not participate in any unit activities or base functions because it is too much "military" or a hassle.  It really defeats the purpose of learning how to work with those around you, what it is to be a leader and be part of the team.  All I ask of you is be part of our team.

The AF has given us the guidance to maintain a fitness level.  Many have seen the "follow or get out" consequences.  The guidance will not change, so participate.  Even if you are a shift worker, it needs to fit in your plans. It falls squarely on you to uphold the responsibility and loyalty to the commander's program. We owe it to ourselves and the Air Force to be fit.

The AF has spent a lot of money to get us to where we are today.  Some of us are just arriving, some are moving on to other places in the AF, and some are going to try the civilian side of our great country, as is eventually the fate for us all.  We have learned some tricks of the trade on how to maintain or regain our inner strength.  It is in our best interest to learn how to deal with difficult situations by relying on a healthy mind, body and positive value system.  Understand others have different limits, coping mechanisms and life skills.  We are all vital to the AF mission with the unique skills and personalities. We bring them with us to the unit each day.  Help each other, learn and make sure we are all ready to be here tomorrow. 

If we take these four keys and apply them in our daily setting, it gives us priorities that fit almost any mission, vision and strategic narrative.  It provides a foundation to succeed in work and family. If we are good at what we do, are part of the team at work and home, and physically and mentally fit, we most assuredly will be able to be here tomorrow.