So, what do you do for a living

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. John Wagner
  • 45th Launch Support Squadron commander
Why do you serve? How do your duties connect with the mission of your section, unit, squadron, group, wing, command and the Air Force? What do you say when someone asks you what you do for a living?

Those of us currently wearing the uniform, regardless of which branch of service, answered the call of our nation to serve by a fundamental motivation. As we progressed through basic training into our service specialties and subsequent assignments, military service became routine and associated with our specialty or job. I've found that periodically reflecting on my answers to the questions above helped me perform better in my current assignment and better prepare me for the future.

So what do you do for a living? Those of us in the Air Force tend to say, "I'm a fighter operator...missile maintainer...air traffic controller..." or we simply shorten it to our Air Force Specialty Code. How do you explain that to your nephew or a distant family relative? You may say, "I launch rockets" or "I fly planes," but how does that connect with the fight?

I'd suggest our first response to that question be either all or part of our Airman's Creed, "I am an American Airman." Next, tell them how you help deliver sovereign options for the defense of the United States of America and its global interests-by flying and fighting in Air, Space and Cyberspace. Here at Patrick and the Cape, we assure access to the high frontier and support global operations. All of us have a role in helping our supervisors and commanders do just that. Tenants here have equally important responsibilities for the nation in their mission areas.

This is an exciting place to be. Whether you're a first-term Airman, a new officer, or a chief nearing retirement, and if you're new to the base or have been here for several years, every day brings new opportunities. Gen. T. Michael Moseley, Air Force Chief of Staff, recently stated in his CSAF Scope, "Our Nation and its joint forces depend upon freedom of action in space." However, this does not happen without the success of our wing's mission.

You are at the flight line for American space forces. Regardless of your Air Force Specialty Code or if you are active, reserve, guard, civilian, or contractor, thank you for all you do every day to help our wing team put fully functional spacecraft on orbit. Our brothers and sisters in arms around the world count on the capabilities we provide each and every day, often for their lives and the lives of their teams.

If you still aren't pumped by your role in the wing's mission and our Air Force mission, pause and reflect on why you serve. Your work is important to our nation.