Fit to fight

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Donald Landon
  • 39th Logistics Readiness Squadron superintendent.
Each of us form a piece of the big Air Force puzzle. Some of us are easy pieces with one or two straight edges that fit nicely on the sides. Others are complex with bulges and bumps all over the place that can't be determined where they fit until the picture becomes clearer.

The fact is no matter which kind of pieces you think you are, the puzzle can't be completed until all of us have achieved our proper puzzle shape. Being in proper puzzle shape means we must make ourselves relevant to the overall cause. If we don't fit, the puzzle becomes increasingly difficult to make sense of.

So what is the proper puzzle shape? It takes plenty to get those bumps and bulges.

First, are you mentally ready to tackle the job at hand? Are you aggressively tackling your Career Development Course requirements? Having completed those, have you started your Community College of the Air Force degree? If you've gone beyond that, have you started a higher education degree utilizing the generous tuition assistance benefits the Air Force offers? If so, give yourself a bump!

Have you engaged yourself in community activities? Do you go to meetings or do you lead energetic groups and subcommittees in making your base better? If you've realized that leadership is something that is built through active experience and not something you automatically get with a promotion--have another bump.

Do you understand the importance of attending events such as retirements, changes of command, and promotion ceremonies? Can you articulate the importance of standing when someone senior enters a room or talks to you directly? How about the meaning of the salute; be it walking down the street or when a staff car passes? If so, you must know that heritage and respect are at the cornerstone of what the Air Force is and how we function. Bump.

Did you physically train today? Did you get a chance to recite the Airman's Creed? Ripple and Bump!

Did you help a fellow Airman today? Did you learn something new at work? Did you spend quality time with your family or friends? Bump, groove and bulge!

I could go on and on. The point is that none of us should ever have a straight edge on our puzzle piece. In truth, the big Air Force puzzle should have no sides, top or bottom. The puzzle should stretch to infinity with no end in sight--tightly snapped together and hard to tear apart, each Airman's puzzle piece reaching out to accept another.

In short, don't be the easy piece. Your puzzle piece should have oodles of bumps and grooves with no straight edges. In doing so, you will touch many more Airmen's puzzle pieces and therefore you will have a greater impact on the overall big Air Force puzzle.