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The power of choice

F. E. Warren AFB, Wyo. -- I've been thinking about choices and what they mean recently, probably because of the recent Combined Federal Campaign drive and voting registration effort. In both cases individuals have made small personal decisions and contributions that have a huge impact collectively. Through CFC, people's lives are improved and changed forever. Voting changes the direction of our nation and strengthens it through the democratic process.

Sometimes it is easy to downplay our own individual significance. Does my contribution really matter? Does my vote count?

The answer is yes!

The realization that everyone makes a difference (good or bad) every day is an important one, because I think sometimes if we're are not careful, we can drift or become complacent with our choices (maybe not even realizing we are making them). We can come to places and outcomes without really considering the decisions that got us there. And in today's busy world there is a lot of competition for our time and attention. It's easy to take our eye off the ball (making a difference).

What we take the time to make choices about and where we put our focus really defines us--it shows what we value and care about.

For those of you in the military, I'm sure you can remember your choice to join the service: raising your right hand and taking the oath; you made a decision to serve our nation, defend freedom and protect the American way of life.

Our Air Force values are what focus us as an organization and should guide our individual daily decisions. Integrity, Service, Excellence: these core values have to be cared for, honed, and internalized but they're also daily choices we make.

Integrity is a choice to be accountable to ourselves and others. We hold ourselves to the highest standards. We do the right thing when no one is watching. We talk the talk and walk the walk.

Service before self is a choice to work toward a higher calling. We put the mission first. We know and care for our people. We're a good wingman.

Excellence in all we do is a choice to reach for our max potential. We always strive to become better. We choose to do more and be more than what is expected. We go the extra mile.

In my short time on Warren, I've been proud to be part of the 90th SW team and missile mission. I see the daily contributions and choices being made. The end result is the best space wing in the Air Force, the strongest military on the planet and a safer place for our children.

We, as members of the AF team, all do our part, our individual contributions and our daily small decisions and the impact is huge! We make a difference.