Strength of mind, body, soul is critical for mission success

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Scott Morris
  • 728th Air Mobility Squadron
By now, I'm sure we have all seen the Air Force Chief of Staff's new guidelines promising a "back to basic" approach and a reemphasis on compliance, inspection processes, accountability and military discipline.

This is a very broad-brush view aimed at the Air Force as a whole. But what is your part in this endeavor?

I break down and summarize every Airman's role in the categories of mind, body and soul.

Use your mind! Our mission to provide decisive air and space power at our nation's call reigns supreme and everyone contributes.

Every Airman's role is to know their job inside and out and do it well. It starts in technical school and continues throughout our career. We use checklists, study technical orders or instructions, and should take every opportunity to improve our job skills and knowledge.

Today's Airmen must also know the world. I recently read a psychology article that said when our minds are nourished, we're free to become the person we've always wanted to be. Be a student of the world - read, study and go to school. Start with your Community College of the Air Force degree and don't stop. Feed your mind and pay attention to the world around you. The Air Force will be better for it.

Take care of your body! Military historian William Nash once noted the "Success of every military establishment is, in a very large degree, dependent upon the physical fitness, endurance and condition of the individual." He was right - taking care of your body and being "fit to fight" is an Air Force basic qualification. Physical fitness is critical as more and more of us are tasked to "go outside the wire."

Again, taking care of your body goes beyond just the basics of passing our physical fitness test; it means taking care of yourself in everyday life. This means everything from not drinking and driving, avoiding unnecessary risks, to eating right and even using sunscreen.

Finally, feed your soul! The soul has been called the immortal essence of a human and Air Force Core Values underpin our immortal essence. Core values make the Air Force what it is and without them we cannot succeed. They are universal and unchanging in the profession of arms and it's imperative that every one of us know the price of admission to the Air Force is Integrity, Service before self and Excellence in all we do.

Every Airman's role in this back-to-basic approach is to be precise, reliable and accountable - the Air Force's hallmark qualities for six decades.

Above all, strength of mind, strength of body and strength of soul are critical elements in our "Fly, fight and win" Air Force.