Remembering our role as Airmen

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Michael D. Webb
  • 334th Fighter Squadron
The Air Force has changed drastically since its inception in 1947, while the role of airpower has evolved at an equally amazing pace from its humble beginnings. But has our role as Airmen changed? Asking this question and knowing the answer will help our Airmen become better and help the wing accomplish its mission.

To answer this question, examine your role within the organization at multiple levels. The lowest level, or tactical level, is the easiest to think about.  This is simply an Airman's job.  Think about what is accomplished at a flight, squadron or Aircraft Maintenance Unit that meets the needs and mission statement hanging on the wall. Every one of us is probably familiar with what the unit is trying to accomplish. We have meetings, state objectives, set metrics and are inspected, evaluated and tested on what it takes to get the job done. Taking the next step to a larger view point should be fairly easy as well. There should be no doubt what this Wing's mission is after a summer of Operational Readiness Exercises and the real-world deployment of the 336th Fighter Squadron down range for their Air Expeditionary Force rotation.

The next level, the strategic role of the Air Force is a much more difficult question to answer. Many books have been written on this subject, but for simplicity sake, the Air Force provides and projects airpower in support of our Nations strategic objectives. The challenge for each and every one of us is to figure out how their individual job helps meet this daunting task. For those in aviation related career fields, it's not too much of a leap to see the effects of their labor on the nightly news with bomb video or Predator showing terrorists huddled in a small hut thousands of miles away. For the rest of us, we must realize our individual efforts are equally as responsible for getting those bombs on target or escorting that American convoy to safety as the maintenance and operation teams who are launching and flying the jets.

In these fiscally restrained times, there is no room for excess. Success means every team member knows his or her role and contributes to the success of not only their unit but our Air Force as a whole. Be proud of becoming an integral component of each unit; accept and excel at every opportunity. Every Airman is uniquely the key to success in delivering airpower to our enemies. Our Airmen's flexibility and ingenuity honed through training and dedication will enable this wing and our Air Force to meet our Nation's security demands every day.