Having the will to succeed

  • Published
  • By By Master Sgt. David G. Stroebel
  • 512th Airlift Wing Historian
Legendary Green Bay Packers Coach, Vince Lombardi once said: "The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will."

During World War II, when the Armies and Navies of Nazi Germany and the Japanese Empire advanced across Europe and the Pacific in a bloody conquest, the free world depended upon the allies for its ultimate survival.

Prior to World War II, the United States did not have a modern or large military to fight against Japan or Germany. In addition, the United States had doubts that the American people would endure a war with either. That changed on the seventh day of December, 1941 when Japan deliberately and without provocation, attacked Pearl Harbor.

Almost immediately, the will of every American citizen and member of the military was tested in a way that defined a generation, and nation, by doing whatever it took to defeat the axis powers and prevent them from attaining world domination and... reaching the shores of the United States.

In retrospect, there was a commonality between each service member who fought during WWII that allowed them to fight exhaustedly for long hours without sleep, food, or water. They fought in severe conditions that placed them in great danger that resulted in many of them giving the ultimate sacrifice to their nation. That commonality was the strength of their will. They had the will to fight and the will to win. They were unrelenting in their will to fight to ensure victory for the United States and the survival of liberty and freedom for their families back home.

We, as members of the most powerful military in the world, have answered the call to duty by becoming Air Force Reservists. We took an oath of office as other professionals do because we chose to be here and because the military's ideals, principals and values parallel our own. The way to keep our military readiness strong starts with keeping your unit strong. We can achieve this by being here when we are suppose to be, getting training accomplished on time, and doing our jobs well.

As one of just 37 wings and groups in the Air Force Reserve Command, the 512th Airlift Wing is approximately 1,800 persons strong. Each wing represents a single link in a big chain. We must all commit our full attention to our jobs and do them well, or our forces may not be so victorious in Iraq or Afghanistan as they was against the axis powers during WWII. How we fare in war against our future adversaries depends on you. Do you have the will to succeed?