Don't hide your pride

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Bob Graham
  • 326th Airlift Squadron commander
How often do you feel proud to be in the military? How about in the Air Force or your unit?
I would hope that every day you feel proud to be part of each one of these groups, but only for the one reason that makes that possible: pride in yourself.

The military and the Air Force are viewed with varying degrees of pride by the American public, and this perception is not shaped by some faceless machine, but by individual men and women who operate as a team.

The ability to develop a proud organization like the U.S. Air Force is directly a result of the pride exhibited by each and every one of you.

Starting with pride in one's self is the easiest way to continue this tradition of the Air Force, and it can be as easy as looking in the mirror (literally, and figuratively). Reflect a little every day on the little things that make you and your job unique and vital to the whole team, and coupled with living the Air Force Core Values, you get a boost of self-pride.

Whether it is customs and courtesies, uniform appearance or job performance, if we carry this pride with us and instill it in others in our unit, we'll develop unit pride. If in every unit the pride started from individual pride, the entire organization would be built on a rock-solid foundation.

Parents, friends, people on the street will tell you how proud they are of you for serving their country, and we are obligated to continue to honor their respect in our profession. The people we serve and serve with are counting on our strong individual pride, whether they know it or not, as each one of us provides the source of the entire Air Force's reputation.

I am certainly proud of every one of the Airmen I work with and interact with in my squadron, my group, my wing, Team Dover, and the rest of my Air Force. Leadership changes, mission tempo increases and inspections fail to disrupt this impression, so it the sense of individual pride is obvious. Keep it up and pass it on, teammates!