Curb Your Enthusiasm?
By Col. JohnDavid Willis, 17th Training Group Commander
/ Published September 27, 2010
GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
Welcome to Goodfellow! You look around and see a mass of Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines who look like you. Everyone is trying to figure this place out...figure out what it takes to get by, figure out the new routine, figure out who to watch and who to avoid, and too often figure out how to lay low and go unnoticed. So, what should you do? Should you curb your enthusiasm? Should you join the mass who are laying low - too cool for technical training school? Absolutely not! Never! You are part of something too great!
You enlisted in a time of war. You volunteered. You raised your hand and swore to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies. And make no mistake, we have enemies. They have sworn to kill you, your family and other innocent people around the world based on a narrow world view that promotes hatred of your way of life. Yet, in spite of, or maybe because of, these threats and nine years of uninterrupted combat operations, the American public holds you in the highest regard. In fact, Americans have more confidence in you as a member of the United States military than in any other institution. The military has ranked number one for the past 12 straight years in public confidence opinion polls and has held the number one or two spot for practically every year since 1975, when polling began.
On top of all this, you were selected in one of the most competitive recruiting classes in recent history. Due in part to economic conditions, the bar to enter military service has never been higher in terms of qualifying test scores and education levels. Consequently, you represent less than one-half of one percent of the American population. And you are the collective envy of just about every nation's military due to your unique status as an all-volunteer, professional enlisted corps. So, you represent one of the most trusted and respected professions in one of the most admired and feared military forces on earth, serving the most powerful country the world has ever seen!
If that doesn't give you a reason to hold your head high and walk with pride, then I'm not sure you get it yet. You need to un-curb your enthusiasm! Be the first to speak up when something is wrong and the first to recognize when it is right. Be the first to help out someone in need and the last to complain when things aren't perfect. Be the first to volunteer when one is asked for and the one everyone knows will stand up for what is right. Be the first to salute at every opportunity and the last to take credit when your team succeeds. Show some of the spirit that goes with being a member of the United States Armed Forces and let that enthusiasm spread throughout your class, your unit and your service!