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Respect: Show some, earn some

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Daniel Arvin
  • 790th Missile Security Forces Squadron
Sixty-three years ago, the United States Air Force was granted autonomy to operate as an independent branch of the Armed Forces. This status, respect and recognition were not easily achieved. As Airmen, we can trace our roots to the valiant efforts of legendary leaders such as Generals Henry H. Arnold, William D. Mitchell, James Harold Doolittle and many others. Their determination and dedication to improve the lives of all Airmen was in the forefront daily. Yet, seeking improvements did not earn us independence as an Air Force. Much is attributed to the respect the American people and governing officials placed in great leaders like the ones mentioned above.

More recently, Air Force Global Strike Command stood up to restore the trust and confidence with the American people. Our national leadership saw the value of consolidating our mission and respected the members of our command enough to give us more say in how the mission is performed. While some may see this as a course of resolving a few issues, it speaks volumes of Air Force leadership respecting us and our mission.

But, what is respect? Respect may be defined with different meanings by different people. But, it is simply the value we place on people or things. It may be an expression or act of our appreciation. Think of parents and the respect given to them. For our leaders, it is the trust and confidence we place in them and they in us. If one cannot give respect, then why should one ever expect it in return? We all like to feel we are valued and appreciated members of the team with self-worth. Others like to feel just as valued and appreciated. Respect is intertwined with our Air Force core values of integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do. It's a historically critical piece of our culture, which should be practiced daily.

In simpler terms, respect is everyday common courtesy or good manners. There is absolutely nothing wrong with saying good morning to complete strangers or exchanging pleasantries between friends and co-workers. Salutes are other means of showing respect, recognition or greetings between fellow service members. Our missile wing commander has publicly recognized numerous members of the wing since arriving at F. E. Warren. A vast amount of this recognition has been at military ceremonies expressing his praise for our hard working Airmen in the best wing in the Air Force.

In addition, he also visits the missile field and work centers on a weekly basis to see first-hand the high quality work Airmen of the Mighty Ninety are performing. Dozens of these wing professionals are spotlighted in the "Commander's Corner" of the Sentinel each week for their daily display of excellence.

Respect for serving our nation is an awesome burden. Today less than one-percent of the American population serves in uniform. But, are you aware the American public holds more trust and confidence in the United States military than any other government agency? This is the ultimate respect knowing nearly 90-percent of our nation's citizens have more confidence in us than any other institution. Are you proud to be a member of our highly respected Air Force and wing? I certainly am. Like our nation, I have the confidence you will do the right thing. So, take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself, show your appreciation and respect of others.