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Reflection

17th Communications Squadron

17th Communications Squadron (U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Russell Stewart/Released)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --

How and why do you serve? By taking a look and reflecting on two topics, you might be able to find your answers. I’ll quickly cover the attitudes we decide to carry and how to find your sense of purpose.

We all enjoy being around people with positive attitudes versus someone with a negative attitude. So why do people decide to have a negative attitude?  Place yourself in any situation you don’t really want to be in and answer me this. Is a negative attitude going to help the situation?  It’s not, you still have to deal with the circumstances you dislike. A negative attitude will more than likely create even more adversity for you to deal with, like conflict with your supervisor, conflict with peers and potentially a negative performance report, ultimately leading the person with the negative attitude to believe the Air Force sucks. We often forget that these situations are temporary and that this too shall end. 

So please take some time to ask yourself the following: What type of attitude do I carry? Do I allow my situation or people to control my attitude? Do I see the glass half full or half empty? The answers are all choices. Choose wisely. Having a positive attitude simply makes life easier for all involved and gets us to mission success as a cohesive team. After all, it is a privilege to serve and accomplish the mission. Why not serve with a great attitude?  

If you didn’t know, less than 5 percent of U.S. citizens can serve in the Armed Forces and it truly is a privilege to serve. With five branches of service, that should equal 1 percent, give or take, serving in the Air Force. We don’t accept just anyone. There are manpower constraints, mental and physical requirements and you have to comply with standards or you’ll be separated.  Now we all joined for various reasons, but what keeps you driven to keep wearing the uniform? Why did you, or will you, reenlist? Do you have a sense of purpose that keeps you motivated?  If you are searching for answers that’s ok, and that’s exactly why I want you to think about these questions. 

Finding your sense of purpose will help keep you motivated and driven.

I initially joined the Air Force for education benefits and to gain some law enforcement experience. My plan was 4 and done, with the goal of becoming a state trooper. Turns out I found a deeper, more rewarding passion. I initially served for personal reason, or, simply because it was a job and I was having fun, but by the end of my first enlistment I realized I was proud to be serving and wanted to continue serving.  However, I was still missing something.  I was falling short on a core value, service before self, and didn’t even realize it. I was serving myself, but when I found my sense of purpose connected to serving, something changed in me. My mentality, for one thing, I become prouder to be a part of something bigger than myself and proud to be a member of the US Air Force.  Part of this transition was realizing no matter the job the Air Force had me doing, I knew I was contributing to the big picture of preserving peace and eliminating anyone who threatened freedom. I hope no one is sitting here today thinking my job is not important, because it is important, we need you and we need every career to get the mission accomplished. So with all that, I simply ask you reflect on the questions asked:  

What type of attitude do you carry? Do you allow your situation or people to control your attitude? 

Do you see the glass half full or half empty? Why are you here doing what you do?   

What keeps you driven to serve and continue wearing the uniform? Why did you or will you reenlist? What is your sense of purpose?   

Again, I hope placing some thought towards these questions helps you find a sense of purpose that keeps you driven to continue serving this great nation or driven to excel at whatever endeavor you choose in life.
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