Recognizing, knowing role in big picture

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. John Chastain
  • 4th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander
In the Air Force, we refer to getting "back on track" in several different ways and there are many things people call it; "Re-Bluing," "Back to Basics," "Keeping it Simple," etc.

I think we, as Airmen, have gotten away from the foundation, the solid roots of what made us the most incredible Air Force in the world; a true desire and honor in wearing the uniform of the United States Air Force. We have gotten away from understanding the big picture, knowing our role and having an unwavering sense of pride in our job each and every day, both on and off duty.

First, we must understand that we are a part of the overall big picture. Specifically, here at Seymour Johnson, we are one of the most elite fighter wings in the Air Force, constantly doing the good deed both stateside and abroad. People need to understand that the 4th Fighter Wing has been a part of world history and continues to make history through the results of our deployments and taskings. We produce the most highly-trained F-15E Strike Eagle aircrews to protect and defend our national security and freedom. We, as Airmen, need to understand that we are setting records every day whether it is downrange with the number of munitions dropped or stateside with the number of sorties flown or the number of patients seen in a day.

The 4th FW plays a crucial part in our military's capability to complete the mission for today and maintain for tomorrow. Today's Air Force is consistently doing more and more with less; forcing us to be as efficient and effective as possible.

In order to be as efficient and effective as possible, we must understand our role and the part we play in the big picture. No matter how small or menial the task may seem, it all contributes to the overall capability of the 4th FW and our ability to complete the mission. Whether it is pouring a cement sidewalk, sweeping out a hangar, cleaning the dental office, serving Airmen lunch or launching an F-15E Strike Eagle to go drop bombs on the enemy, we need to understand that every job we do directly contributes to the mission at hand and the overall success of that mission.

This is the reasoning for discipline and attention to detail and why it is so important in everything we do on a daily basis. Doing more with less, we cannot afford to re-accomplish work or take the "that will do" attitude regardless of how small the task may be. This includes taking care of each other and making sound decisions, both on and off duty, regardless of the atmosphere, in order to protect the image of the military professional. In the big picture everyone around you, to include the Soldier on the ground, is depending on you to do your job and do it well in order for us to continue to be the greatest Air Force in the world.

After understanding our role in the big picture, we must take pride in not just our work, but in ourselves and being Airmen in the U.S. Air Force. This pride is not just on the completion of your job or a specific task, it is being proud of yourself, the quality of your work and your actions ... both on and off duty. That means knowing you are held to a higher standard 24 hours a day, seven days a week and being proud of that. We wear the uniform because we are different than your average person on the street. We are called upon to protect our borders, ensure our national security and maintain the freedom so many have given their lives to establish. We must act like proud Airmen of the greatest Air Force in the world and maintain the high standard that is expected. Our government trusts us with the safety and freedom of America's families. Be proud of what you are and the high standards we are held to.

With today's Air Force doing more with less, we must get back to basics or "re-blue" ourselves. We must understand the big picture and know that we are a part of something great. We must have an understanding of what our role is and that no matter what our job may be, it contributes to the success of the mission and the overall capability of our Air Force. We must take pride in what we do and who we are. We must be proud to wear the uniform and show those around us that we deserve to be held to a higher standard. We are a part of the greatest Air Force in the world, it is up to us to continue the legacy of greatness within today's Air Force.