Mastery: Demand competence, pursue excellence

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Daniel Craig
  • 22nd Civil Engineer Squadron
Sun Tzu notably said in The Art of War, "To see victory only when it is within the ken of the common herd is not the acme of excellence.”

This speaks specifically to why the U.S. Air Force is the greatest fighting air force the world has ever known because of the limitless potential, innovation and excellence in skill of its Airmen. We can and will do the job, through all demands and challenges, and remain the foremost expert at our crafts. And yet, to retain this superiority, we must continue the pursuit to not be common, as a service and as professionals.

To carry on with mental fortitude and indomitable spirit, the pursuit must be continuous. When one stops the pursuit, the results stop. Ultimately, our character is defined by what we are willing to bear. Everyone wants the reward, yet, are you willing to bear the struggle to attain it? Everyone wants the great result, but can you consistently stay on the path to reach the goal? Your self-actualization is harnessed from what you are willing to endure.

When you have reached your accomplishment, know you are not at the finish-line, but just starting. Keep the momentum. It’s time to set new goals. Even better, when you capitalize it for yourself, help others reach their goals. Mentor and develop the next generation of Airmen, and always foster the environment for mastery and the constant pursuit for excellence!