My best assignment, my worst assignment

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Jeffrey McBride
  • 312th Training Squadron
I am currently working on my ninth assignment in the Air Force; some have been to what people consider great locations, others have been to places people try to avoid. At each assignment I always found people who either loved the location or hated it.

Previously, I was stationed at Ramstein, Germany, a place some people spend their entire career trying to get to. I have been assigned to Kunsan, Korea, where the people were fantastic and the thousands of years of culture were amazing to visit and tour. At both places, some people would tell me how much they hated it there and could not wait until their tour was complete. On the other hand, I also found people who loved being there and kept trying to figure out how they could extend their tour. Among the people I talked to, a couple of common themes stood out.

The people who did not like their assignment did not take the time to learn about their current location. They would spend their time going to work and then back home. The next day, to work, then back home, complaining about how bad the assignment was. This pattern continued day after day. They would say there was nothing to do. The people who liked the location on the other hand, would get out and enjoy everything they could about the location they were at. I love to snow ski and used to go a couple of times a month when I was stationed in California. Now in West Texas, I found some new forms of recreation to enjoy, making the most of my time here.

One of the great opportunities I find about the Air Force is that we are transitory. A few years after we get to a new assignment, we will get an opportunity to move on to the next location. The current place you are living may not be like back home, but it will have great opportunities unique to that location. Living in West Texas brings its own opportunities. How many places have a rodeo come through town, drag boat races, 50 miles of mountain bike trails, an art museum and some of the friendliest people I have met anywhere. You may not have the opportunities that are back home but this may be a great time to try something new. The more you get out, expand your comfort zone and experience what the location you are at has to offer, the more you will enjoy your tour until the time comes to move onto the next adventure. Is this going to be your best or worst assignment? You get to decide with your attitude and what you choose to do with your opportunities.

No matter where you are, make the most of the location and the situation. The chances are that you will only be there for a few years and not be given the opportunity to go back.