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October Chief's Perspective

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Robert Wright, with the 169th Operations Support Squadron at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, South Carolina Air National Guard, Jan. 11, 2013.
(U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Caycee Watson/Released)

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Robert Wright, with the 169th Operations Support Squadron at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, South Carolina Air National Guard, Jan. 11, 2013. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Caycee Watson/Released)

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. --

Hello from beautiful Southwest Asia! This side of the world hasn’t seemed to change much in the past 27 years since Operation Desert Shield/Storm. For those of you who’ve never been so lucky to make this trip, think of a windy day at the beach, no water to cool off in (pool is closed), just oven hot and sandy. The nice thing about the weather, there is normally no humidity! If there are clouds in the sky, they are either coming from the sandstorms or oil fields and sometimes the occasional alien spacecraft...ha! The one thing I’ll never forget about Desert Storm is on the day of our arrival, a then Tech. Sgt. Lanny Cobb greeting us at the bus after our C-141 ride to Al Kharj Air Base, Saudi Arabia. Cobb, with much enthusiasm, said, “Welcome to hell boys!” My first thoughts were, “What have I gotten myself into and who’s this overly excited guy with curly hair and stash?” Speaking of the ‘stache, we currently have many contenders for the World Moustache Championships, you would be very proud!

When deployed or at home we all have good days and not so good days. In my opinion, Chief Cobb was having a good day or making the best of it, when we got to Al Kharj. Not quite the welcoming committee I was expecting, but nonetheless, he was glad we were there joining in the fight. Everyone has heard of the saying, “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference,” and it’s all so true. When you focus on the good and positive things to be thankful for in life, even when in less than optimal environments, it will improve your attitude so you can focus on mission accomplishment. Our mission is to provide world class F-16 combat capability and that can only be done with the positive attitudes, focus and commitment by you. Being a part of our Swamp Fox team is a big deal! Be proud of what you’re doing and accomplishing on a daily basis, even if it seems like a mundane task. We are all integral members of this operation and it shows with every aircraft departure and landing. Who doesn't love watching our jets take off full burner and then return Code 1 with bombs dropped and missile rails clean? That’s some kind of accomplishment and you make it happen! 

Don’t get sucked into the negative comments and thoughts. Stay positive and be thankful for what you have and have done. No one likes to be around a “Negative Nancy.” When there is negativity, it just brings down unit morale, which can spread like an epidemic. If you think this place could be better, keep negative comments to yourself and think about what you can do to make the situation better! Always make every effort to maintain a positive attitude, even when surrounded by negativity. One technique for maintaining a positive attitude is to reflect on or write down what you’re thankful for every day. Today I was thankful for not eating MREs, the water came back on, and every day I thank God for my family, country, and this opportunity that I’ve been given to be a Swamp Fox! 

One final note, here’s a great attitude quote from our 3rd President Thomas Jefferson:

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” 

Thanks for all your hard work and dedication!

Semper Primus!