Welcome to the Air Force Family

  • Published
  • By CMSgt R. Caleb Vaden
  • 42nd Air Base Wing

Welcome to the Air Force Family

Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have ever made a difference in the world, a veteran doesn't have that problem
Ronald Reagan

Congratulations on joining the most elite and technologically advanced fighting force on Earth! I am so thankful that you have joined our ranks to defend our nation and way of life, and I would like to be one of the first to welcome you to our amazing Air Force family! Your Air Force career, regardless of length, will be an excellent experience for you, and I could not be prouder of you as a human, Airman, teammate, wingman, warrior, and family member. You are now part of a family that you will grow to love and embrace for the rest of your life. The profession of arms is unique, and the people you will serve our nation with are among some of Earth's finest humans. Let's jump right in and prepare your successful career for take-off!

What is success to you? My ideals of success are not in accomplishments like rank, decorations, awards, etc. I believe that success is in our journey, our relationships, our experiences, and the legacy we leave behind. Don't worry; all the rest comes with you in due time if you focus on the right target. What will your story be? Will you leave a great legacy?

This manual is a guide for great success in the Air Force regarding the opportunities, the character you display, and your probability for increased responsibility and higher echelons of leadership. However, you must put in the work to produce success; you can't simply read this manual and then sit around and wait for success to fall into your lap. It is easy to be successful in the Air Force if you follow these tested, tried, and proven absolutes.

This journey is not for everyone; only around 1% of our nation serves in the armed forces. You are now part of the 1%ers! This journey will take hard work and effort, and sacrifice; and there will be times that it will seem overwhelming, but do not worry, we (your family) are right here.

We are in the profession of arms and designed to execute the "M" in "DIME," which is the military response. That is rarely an easy task, and it takes competent people of great character to execute it properly. We should evaluate our readiness to carry out our duties and responsibilities in defending our nation every day. Are you worthy of that responsibility?

Being an Airman is a lot different than being an employee of any other profession, as they typically don't ask their employees to be prepared to sacrifice their lives. We are distinctly different in the Profession of Arms (PoA) (video). We must be professional and well-prepared through the hard life of training and preparing to be our nation's warfighters. It takes all three phases of our professionalism and foundations, where we work to hone the PoA and our specialties, and then battlefield is where we put it all together. We are warriors, and we will get this right. If we don't, we lose, and America isn't in the business of losing!

There aren't any secrets to being a great Airman, just be brilliant at the basics! Sacrifice, blood, sweat, and tears make Airmanship work.

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