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Warrior Ethos - Part of an Airman for life

Patrick AFB, Fla -- When I joined the Air Force 27 years ago I'm certain I could not have used "Warrior Ethos" in a sentence and know what I was saying. But today, I feel it in my heart. I know it'll be with me forever - a gift which will continue to mature and serve me well the rest of my life. 

I'm a process nut and see many things as pieces and parts. So when I reflected about what I wanted to share about what "Warrior Ethos" means to me, I found myself thinking about the basics. 

For me, Warrior Ethos isn't just about the courage and leadership skills to be at the tip of the spear - it's about being part of the fight and being confident in your skills so you are ready to respond - no matter who or where you are - because we never know when we will be called into action. 

Many of us are preparing for the upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection. Every element we will be tested on is an element of contingency operations. From the ability to communicate, to deploying people to being able to triage the injured - it's all about being prepared to act. And none of us will be able to do it alone. 

That's why we all need to be personally invested - and that takes time and practice. I know some days just don't seem long enough, but we must prioritize because our country is counting on us - all of us. It's not good enough to be just OK. 

So stop yourselves from thinking about how the exercises are putting a crimp in your life and get personally involved. We need everyone to be at the top of their game - and not because the IG is coming, but because the same skills we use for a contingency are great skills for getting the mission accomplished each and every day. 

I'm at the end of my active duty career, but I know the "Warrior Ethos" instilled in me throughout my career will be with me forever - and for this I will always be grateful. I am also grateful to all who have made this assignment a highlight of my career. Best wishes on proving to the IG that Patrick knows what "Warrior Ethos" is all about.