Strength through discipline to achieve excellence

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Abbigayle Williams
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs

Coach Grant Taylor once said, “Negotiate with your body to find more strength.” –Facing the Giants


The Air Force is not asking anyone to do a 100-yard death crawl with a 160-pound man on their back.


What the Air Force has asked is for excellence in all we do, even if it’s just to the 20-yard line.


“Core Values help those who join us to understand right from the outset what’s expected of them,” said Gen. Michael E. Ryan (retired). “Equally important, they provide all of us, from [the rank of] Airman to four-star general, with a touchstone—a guide in our own conscience—to remind us of what we expect from ourselves. We have wonderful people in the Air Force. But we aren’t perfect. Frequent reflection on the core values helps each of us refocus on the person we want to be and the example we want to set.”


Moreover, Tech. Sgt. Darrin Tullis, 890th Missile Security Forces Squadron Echo flight chief, would say that is precisely why the 890th MSFS excellence patch was created.


“To be honest, I don’t do this for me, it is for the younger Airmen,” said Tullis. “I am 33 years old, and the fact that I can get the patch at 33 I think anybody can get it. I want it to be a motivator for them. I want them to say ‘If he can do it why can't I?’”


To earn the patch you must shoot expert on the M9 and M4, have at least a 90 on the Air Force Physical Fitness Test, a passing score on the Marine Combat Fitness Test, completed your CCAF and be green on all standards. Additionally, noncommissioned officers must be exceptionally well qualified in their duty position.


Tullis knows that being a defender comes with its challenges when working various schedules and tripping out to the field, however achieving excellence is still possible.


“You’ve got to want it and go get it because nothing is stopping you,” said Tullis. “If I can do it, nothing is stopping you. Yes, you’ve got to apply yourself, but it’s not impossible.”


Tullis adds “We have fitness equipment out at the MAF, you’ve just got to find the time. Yeah it is a different environment from home, but it is not limiting. The only limiting factor is firing your weapon, but you can still go over fundamentals and that’s what it comes down to when firing expert is being proficient at those fundamentals.”


While the patch was created for the 890th MSFS, the principles of excellence in all we do are not limited to defenders.


It is vital to find a mentor such as Tullis, someone who strives to be the best they can every day, to focus on the fundamentals of the job and go above and beyond.


While similar to the 890th MSFS patch that every 890 defender wears, the golden patch creates more motivation.

“It is an additional motivator for me to continue to achieve the best results I am capable of,” said Tullis.


One item similar to the traditional 890th MSFS patch is that it says “Strength Through Discipline.”


As Chief Brady McCoy, 90th Security Forces Squadron manager, always says, “Motivation fades, but discipline is consistent.”


As for now, the excellence patch is only in the 890th MSFS, but that does not mean Airmen can’t train for the day the patch comes to their squadron.


“Don’t tell me you can’t give more than what I’ve been seeing. You just carried a [160]-pound man on your shoulders. God has gifted you the ability of leadership. Use it.” –Coach Grant Taylor, Facing the Giants