First Term Airman steps into new world
By by Airman Nathan Capley, 726th Air Control Squadron
/ Published November 24, 2009
MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- To me, being a first term airman means stepping into an active, new world. It's a world that is dedicated to protecting and defending this great country that we live in. I believe that the key to making a transition into this new world is done by making a positive first impression on those who work with you. I believe I can do this by being a responsible airman, demonstrating good leadership skills, and always being highly motivated.
Once basic training and tech school were over, I stepped into the operational life of the Air Force and became responsible for myself. It is no longer the responsibility of a military training instructor to ensure that I show up for work or stay out of trouble. That is my responsibility now. It's also my duty to follow the orders given by my superiors and maintain a positive professional image at all times. The United States government has invested a great deal of time and money into me, and I need to take care of myself by practicing self-discipline and staying in good physical condition. The Air Force has taught me that I am responsible for not only myself, but also for my wingman.
Another factor in being an impressive airman is demonstrating good leadership skills and abilities. One way to do this is by stepping up when no one else will. A great leader starts out by being a being a good follower. I read somewhere once that a person said they had never met someone they couldn't learn from. I can always learn from someone. A good leader knows that he or she is accountable to those people above and below them, and will always admit his or her mistakes. A good leader is also able to handle criticism in a positive way and knows how to give others constructive criticism that will better them.
The most important element in making a good impression in the Air Force is showing motivation. I believe a motivated airman takes pride in his squadron, country, and his own accomplishments. He is motivated by a deep commitment to serve others and better himself. I believe I can show this motivation by taking advantage of the educational resources available to me and furthering my career as far as I can. I can serve other people by encouraging them to excel in areas beneficial to them. I will show that I am a motivated troop when I volunteer on my base or in my community.
I know that those around me are watching to see what kind of airman I am. They want to see if I can handle the pressure and responsibility of being a member of the U.S. Air Force. They will see that I can when I show integrity by being responsible on and off duty and when I show service before self when I lead. They will see that I take pride in the armed forces because I am a highly motivated individual. Everyone will see that I can and will fly, fight, and win!