TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – After 22 years of
service, I’ve learned a few lessons that help shape who I am, how I approach
life, work and what I fall back on when I need a little help figuring out which
way to go. We all
learn and think differently, but what follows has served me well.
four basic rules: Work hard, but have fun doing it; take care of yourself physically,
mentally and spiritually so you can take care of your family and teammates;
control what you can, but don’t waste time and energy worrying about what you
can’t. Finally, treat everybody with dignity and respect.
but have fun. It sounds simple enough and it really is. If you find you’re
having more bad days than good ones, then you’re probably in the wrong line of
work. I’m not saying every day is going to be a barrel of laughs, but all in
all, the good days should always outnumber the bad ones. We work hard because
we have to. We’re limited on resources and have a critical mission that needs
to happen each and every day. There’s no reason we can’t get it done and still
have fun while we knock it out. Laughter goes a long way.
of yourself physically, mentally and spiritually. This one is paramount. You
can’t take care of anybody else if you aren’t good to go yourself. Whether you
find yourself tapped to run around outside the wire in Afghanistan or just need
a few more points to get an excellent on your physical training test, staying
in good shape and ready to deploy is vital. Mental and spiritual fitness are
equally important. There will be stressful times you’ll have to get through and
being mentally and spiritually ready will enable you to handle whatever you
what you can, but don’t waste time and energy worrying about what you can’t. Have
you ever worked with somebody who spent half their day complaining about how
much they had on their plate versus making any progress on their workload? As
stated previously, we’re limited on resources but still have a critical mission
to knock out. Investing time and energy being frustrated only makes it worse.
It’s a far better idea to just dig in and work together to get things done.
of staff of the Air Force has also given direction to take a hard look at the
work we’re doing and eliminate things that we do “just because we’ve always
done them” or otherwise don’t make sense. We have an opportunity to identify
and eliminate added taskers and duties and we need to take advantage of it so
we can focus on the real mission.
treat everybody with dignity and respect. We’re a family and that’s how we need
to treat each other. We need every single one of us every day to get the job
done. Make it a point to get to know the men and women you work with and build
a strong team. Everybody in your unit raised their right hand the same way you
did. They’ve earned the right to be treated with dignity and respect.