DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. --
As we have stepped into a new year, Dover Airmen continue to do amazing things and make me proud each and every day to work for them. My philosophy has always been to have a positive attitude, make good choices and give a high level of effort, no matter what your profession is, through our Air Force Core Values. I share these with our newest Airmen in each First Term Airmen Course to build a connection between the Airmen and the mission. It is important that we build connections at all levels, since being an Airman is what all of us one percent have in common. What does it mean to be an Airman?
We often think being an Airman is what our profession is. Across Dover Air Force Base, there are Airmen who work in over 60 different Air Force Specialty Codes. By definition, a profession is a paid occupation that involves prolonged training and formal qualification. We learned our professions through various technical training schools, certifications and career development courses, in addition to on-the-job training. These professional development experiences separate individuals into distinct units or sections with others in similar professions.
Yet, regardless of our professions, we are all Airmen. We are different; yet, we are not. It is irrefutable that each and every Airman, regardless of their specialty, plays an important role in the success of Dover’s mission. There is not one profession that is more important than another. So, if our profession does not define what being an Airman is, then what does? Quite simply, the fundamental influential piece of being an Airman is found within our Air Force Core Values – Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in All We Do.
Team Dover Airmen are connected to the Core Values through their attitude, choices and effort. Attitude reflects one’s behavior, emotions or beliefs at any given time, which ultimately can affect others’ attitudes. A great example of this is, while conducting quality assurance evaluations on over 532 Airmen, Staff Sgt. Isaiah Bettinger, 436th Aerial Port Squadron, dedicated his personal time and resources toward boosting the morale in the wing’s largest squadron. A true wingman, Isaiah shared his story of resiliency and use of base resources to overcome personal challenges. Isaiah’s transparency and advocacy for professional services motivated a teammate to seek help. His attitude is contagious! A positive attitude sometimes takes courage and can be contagious in helping others be optimistic, which can help others cope when they have stress happening at work and in their lives. Having a positive attitude ties into making choices.
Choices happen all day, every day, in everything we do. Whether good or bad, choices can affect a person’s attitude and their level of effort, as well as affect others. All Airmen made the choice to serve in the U.S. Air Force. Some choices are easier to make than others, and some may require difficult sacrifices to be made. The choices we make may be motivated by a requirement, personal goals or peer pressure. For instance, we are required to take and pass a fitness assessment every year. We must choose to either not work out or take the time to work out. The choice that is made can impact whether we pass or fail that assessment. A person has the ability to make decisions based on having more than one option and what outcome they want to achieve. Senior Airman Donavon Reiley, 436th Maintenance Squadron, made a choice and volunteered to cover the holiday schedule for his shop. His actions ensured his coworkers were able to spend quality time with their families, because he was going to be in the immediate area. His actions to take care of his peers, while ensuring Dover’s mission was supported, was a choice he made, and his efforts didn’t go unnoticed.
The level of effort given continues to build the connection to our Core Values and being an Airman. An Airman’s level of effort is showcased not only in their profession but in their everyday lives. This is the amount of energy that Airmen put towards their profession, the mission or any commitments they have made. The standard level of effort by which Airmen live starts with Excellence in All We Do. Staff Sgt. Brian Moisengo, 436th Medical Support Squadron, brilliantly wrote a script and designed a desktop icon for the 436th Medical Group information technology users to easily submit work orders and get faster resolutions. His great effort and creativity led to a 50 percent reduction in customers’ wait times and reduced the workload of the local systems flight by allowing the IT staff to triage customers’ issues remotely. Not only did his efforts better his unit and group, it helped customers all over the base. His initiative and professionalism were distinctly related to our Core Values.
Our Air Force Core Values influence our attitudes, choices and efforts every day, no matter what our professions are. Team Dover Airmen are committed to a culture of pride and professionalism, as Staff Sgt. Isaiah Bettinger, Senior Airman Donavon Reiley and Staff Sgt. Brian Moisengo have shown. Their attitudes, choices and efforts have built and continue to build connections with Airmen across Dover.
This is what it means to be an Airman.