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What impact will you make today?

  • Published
  • By Col. Tracey Hayes
  • 90th Missile Wing commander
Do you ever wake up and ask yourself, "What will I do today?" Or as you drift to sleep at night, do you think, "What will I do tomorrow?" These questions may appear introspective, but in reality, the answers are simply a sequence of events, or a "to do" list, for the day.

Try a different approach; ask yourself, "What effect will I have today?" This question is open-ended and requires more contemplation. You have to make a choice regarding what, or who, you want to impact. It may be your life, your children, your unit, your Air Force or your co-workers. You can fill in the blank with just about anything. The question requires more self-examination because the choice you make has consequences, whether good or bad.

You could learn enough about your job to just get by and accomplish your tasks indifferently, but what is the impact of that decision? You become a burden to the team.

You could base your decisions without using a moral compass to guide your choices, thus disregarding the Air Force Core Values. The impact: your teammates lose trust in you and the team falls apart.

You could let your friend drive home from a party buzzed or drunk instead of stepping in. The impact: the potential loss of a fellow Airman's life and loss of a team member.

Consider your decision to commit yourself to the profession of arms. This is an all-volunteer force; no one forced you to join the Air Force team. Someone may have encouraged you, but no one forced you to sign on the dotted line. Now that you're here, consider what you can do to have a real impact on the Air Force.

You could learn your job and do it as well as you can. The impact: You become an integral member of the team.

You could base your decisions on our Air Force Core Values. The impact: You become an integral member of the team.

You could intervene when a fellow Airman wants to drive after a few alcoholic drinks. The impact: You become an integral member of the team.

The team in each of these cases is your Air Force family.

The Air Force gives every Airman the opportunity to contribute. Your choice is whether you want that contribution to be positive or negative. There is no neutral in these decisions. If you choose to do nothing, you still made a choice; and it is your choice to determine what impact you will make on our mission.

Each and every one of you has a critical role to play and our Air Force family needs you on the team, not just during duty hours, but 24/7. The question is, what impact do you want to have today, tomorrow and into the future?