To Serve

  • Published
  • By Col. Michael Manion
  • 403rd Wing
When I'm fortunate enough to conduct a wing mission brief to the new members assigned to our wing, I like to find out where each Airman is from and what motivated them to join and serve. The answers are wide ranging. Some decided to serve for the opportunity to travel, others because there were no opportunities in their towns.  Many decided to serve because of the outstanding educational benefits, others for the chance to learn a specific skill, and some decided to serve because it was a calling.   

Whatever your motivation was to join and serve, you raised your hand and volunteered.    My hope is that you have come to realize it is a privilege to serve in the greatest Air Force defending the citizens of the United States, and with this privilege comes a great responsibility to give every day your full effort.  We owe it to the American public and our fellow Airmen to give 100 percent in all we do; that is the expectation, and that is the best way to ensure mission success.

Since we all come from various backgrounds with different reasons for initially serving, the Air Force developed core values to give us a common foundation to build on.  The values Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in all we do are interlinked and mold our mindset reminding us that the mission comes first rather than our personnel agendas.   Yes it's nice to be able to travel and enjoy the educational opportunities, but we serve the mission first. 

I ask that you take the time to reflect on what initially motivated you to serve; what keeps you serving now, and why it is a privilege to wear the uniform.   I hope you realize that you continue to serve for the comradery, for being a part of something larger than yourself, the opportunity to contribute to this great nation of ours, and for mission success.   Maybe you will discover Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in all we do are not just words, but something you have internalized and made a part of your daily lives both in your civilian and reserve duties.