Football doctrine on the battlefield

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col Brian Mix
  • 22nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
Football has brought us many great things, not the least of which are funny Super Bowl commercials and Gatorade. The game has also brought us many leaders whose philosophies on the gridiron can be translated to doctrine on the battlefield. Take for example Vince Lombardi and Tom Brady.

Vince Lombardi’s influence on football is so great that the leagues championship trophy bears his name. A web search for Lombardi quotes will return a treasure trove of useful one liners and funny jabs, but there is one that stands out from the rest.

In his first team meeting as Packers head coach, Lombardi said, “Gentlemen, we are going to relentlessly chase perfection, knowing full well we will not catch it because nothing is perfect. But we are going to relentlessly chase it because in the process, we will catch excellence. I am not remotely interested in just being good.”

Coach Lombardi’s lesson of never settling for “good enough” resonates with our core value of having excellence in all we do. As professional Airmen, we must consistently set our aspirations high and never accept being just good enough. The day we allow our standards to fall is the day we stop dominating the skies.

Tom Brady is arguably one of the most prolific quarterbacks in the game’s history, and by winning four he championships has established his dominance as one of the greatest of our generation. When asked by a reporter which ring was his favorite his reply “the next one” clearly conveyed his philosophy of continuous improvement and never resting on your successes.

Once again, as a profession of arms, we must learn from our successes but be mindful to never allow those successes to stall our quest for perpetual dominance. Our adversaries are continually evolving, assuring us that our future conflicts will never be the same as our last. Failure to prepare for future war will guarantee our defeat long before we launch our first sortie.

By setting the bar high and never providing the enemy a chance to catch up, we will remain the world’s greatest airpower, comprised of the world’s finest Airmen!