By Chief Master Sgt .Jeffrey Hall, 45th Launch Group Superintendent
/ Published November 18, 2011
PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- What comes to mind when you hear the word "standard"? Well, it depends on the context in which the word is used, right?
I'd say the majority of societies associate standard with the concept of average, basic, ordinary or minimal. Webster's dictionary offers a number of definitions, one of which reads "of average but acceptable quality." If you take a moment to compare a given set of Air Force standards to the definition above, you should conclude that Air Force standards are much more than just standard.
As members of the U.S. Air Force, we are inherently full-time ambassadors entrusted with the security of our nation as well as the protection of freedom and our way of life. To be successful in accomplishing that, the expectations we levy on ourselves and maintain
day-to-day must be higher than just average. The fact that we have earned the respect and admiration of our communities is reinforced each time I see someone make their way across a parking lot just to say "thanks for your service," or when I find a child's attention fixated on one of our Airmen from three checkout lanes across the store.
These should serve as stark reminders that our responsibilities don't go dormant in our off-duty hours. In order to maintain the trust and confidence of our leaders and the nation we protect as well as the respect of our allies and enemies, we must synchronize that
concept with every aspect of our lives. In the resource-constrained environment in which we live, our resiliency will be exercised often, but we must not succumb or deviate from our standards. Instead, we should find solace in the fact that it is the evolution of those very standards that has made us the institution we are today.
In a closing analogy, if we liken our high standards to a mighty Redwood tree, we can easily recover from a few notches in our trunk. Received in mass or frequency however, the mighty Redwood will surely topple. Each of us has a career-long individual responsibility to ensure it doesn't.