Make a stand and do something amazing

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Donald Gramby
  • 4th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
Many spectacular events have taken place over the past 25 years of my military career. Some events I care to remember, others not as much. One noteworthy event took place in the early 90s, prior to the Gulf War.

While stationed at Shaw Air Force Base, we presented the general with the Order of the Sword. Many should remember General Chuck Horner, whom at the time was the 9th Air Force Commander.

What was so significant about this occasion was the general's speech. As a young staff sergeant, what stood out to me most (while not taking anything away from the dialogue), was his opening statement. General Horner began his speech with a quote from the Apostle Paul, from the New Testament of the Bible. At a time when it seemed everyone was overly concerned with being politically and militarily correct, the general stood tall on his morals and faith, and delivered a speech that will always be remembered by many. Today, as non-commission officers in the Air Force, like the general, we must also make a stand.

We must make a stand on our "Air Force Core Values." As members of the world's most powerful Air Force, we must continue to live out and reflect "integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do." Keep in mind that these values are the basis for our policies, guidance and focus. Remembering these values will help build personal dedication and commitment to the Air Force, its mission, and to all Air Force members.

We must make a stand on our military customs and courtesies. These include our acts of respect and courtesy when dealing with other people who are involved as a result of the need for order, as well as mutual respect, and a sense of fraternity that exists only among military personnel. Our customs and courtesies go beyond basic politeness. They play an extremely important role in building morale, esprit de corps, discipline, and mission effectiveness. These will ensure proper respect for the chain of command and build the foundation for self-discipline.

We must make a stand on continuous improvement. In 1993 while again stationed at Shaw AFB, S.C., I had the opportunity to create what is now the DOD training video for self-aid and buddy care. The opportunity came about by our flight's persistence to improve all we do. The primary training presentation at the time was a 35 millimeter slide presentation. But that was not good enough for the 363rd Maintenance Training Flight, so we set out to create a video training tape of our own.

Once the word got out to the Air Force about our videotape, requests came Air Force wide for copies. As a result, the ACC surgeon general got her hands on a copy, and requested us to come to Langley AFB, Va., and create a videotape for the Air Force. Two grueling weeks of directing and moulage, and the rest is history.

We must make a stand on our everyday conduct. We are all accountable for our own actions, both in the performance of duties, and in personal conduct. Throughout my 25 years, I have always tried to hold myself to practicing key ethical values. I would like to conclude with some values that have been the catapult of my career and have made this journey successful. Each day has been a lasting new experience. Continue to practice honesty, integrity, loyalty, fairness, caring, and respect. I wish you all a prosperous career and God speed.