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September Chief's Perspective

Portrait of  U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Audrey Boatwright, assigned to the 169th Logistics Readiness Squadron at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., Aug. 21, 2020. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Edward Snyder, 169th Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

Portrait of U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Audrey Boatwright, assigned to the 169th Logistics Readiness Squadron at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., Aug. 21, 2020. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Edward Snyder, 169th Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

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

Something to ponder. A rearview mirror is for looking behind you when you are driving. Metaphorically speaking, if you were to view your past, what’s behind you? There are so many things that can hinder your ability to go forward when you continue to focus on the past. We do learn from the past and hopefully apply our experiences to future choices. Wouldn’t you prefer to have a clear view through your windshield?

The windshield perspective allows individuals to continue to grow, consider new opportunities, and long for what is to come. An Airman’s future is full of potential. What new skills or talents will you discover? You are exposed to many opportunities, career stabilities, and a full explosion of diversities. With all of these new possibilities, ignoring your personal responsibility will tarnish your credibility.

An Airman’s credibility is based on the degree of owned personal responsibility.  When you join the Air National Guard, it is accepting the standards and regulations set before you. Enlisted members take the Oath of Enlistment upon entry and again each time a re-enlistment is conducted. The purpose is to equip you with some background of expectations, information, and simply history.

Do you remember repeating these words? “I (state your full name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So, help me God!”

The oath is found in the Profession of Arms and connects us to the Air Force Core Values: Integrity, Service Before Self, and Excellence In All We Do. It provides the foundation of our military existence. Receiving and assimilating this oath allows one to dream for and obtain a successful career. There will be leaders, supervisors, subordinates and your wingmen sharing overwhelming amounts of information throughout your progression in ranks. The diversity of the Air National Guard points to the differences in our way of thinking. The Equal Employment Opportunity places emphasis on this ideology.

The Equal Employment Opportunity concept fused into the Air National Guard organization, demonstrates this diversity. It increases the possibilities, of working with groups from many races, cultural backgrounds, and varieties of skill sets. We may think, look, and act differently, but we work together accomplishing mission requirements. This allows us to accept information from others, process it, and apply it to the task at hand. Ownership of our personal responsibility by acknowledging future accomplishments that one can realize, solidifies your credibility as part of the Air National Guard.

In closing, learn from your past, build on your future. Make decisions with a clear view. We can’t change the past but we sure can make lasting decisions based on a current reality. Something to ponder- Are you looking ahead or continually viewing what’s behind? “Make It Happen!” Be responsible for your existence and consider all the possible diverse choices to shape your credible individuality. Accept, Process, and Apply.

I’ll leave you with a quote from author Joel Osteen. He said “See when you drive home today, you’ve got a big windshield on the front of your car. And you’ve got a little bitty rearview mirror. And the reason the windshield is so large and the rearview mirror is so small is because what’s happened in your past is not near as important as what’s in your future.”