By Lt. Col. John C. Farmer, 22nd Security Forces Squadron
/ Published January 11, 2019
MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- The greatest military in the world requires loyalty throughout the chain of command in order to efficiently achieve desired effects. Healthy organizations are loyal throughout the chain of command.
We are all leaders and followers. In both capacities, we owe our superiors, Airmen and organizations loyal service. Loyalty requires the guided combination of faith, respect and obedience through the lenses of ethics, morality and legality.
Loyalty requires faith in our leaders, and to those entrusted to our charge. Trust them and choose to believe in their abilities to make decisions and take appropriate actions. Sometimes we are asked to perform tasks and take on projects when we do not fully understand the “why”. In some cases, the explanations come later due to the mission demands or time constraints.
Many times, we do not fully possess the details of our leader’s decision making. However, we must have faith that our leaders are making decisions and giving orders for the right reasons. The reasons usually become clear with time. Likewise, have faith in your Airmen and their ability to work through situations. Believe in their ability to make tough decisions when there are no clear answers, and support those decisions made in good faith.
Loyalty demands obedience. Do what is asked of you as quickly and efficiently as possible. Always perform your tasks to the best of your abilities and work hard for your leaders and subordinates. Do your best to anticipate their needs. Protect and take interest in their lives, careers and personal goals as if they were your own. Maintain standards through discipline and reward. Be there when you are needed and do what is required.
Finally, be respectful. There is no other way to act. Everyone is owed respectful treatment, even when they have done wrong. Respect does not always come easy, and your feelings may be valid. However, disrespect, even in the face of faith and obedience, falls drastically short of loyalty.
We do not talk about loyalty much. Maybe because it is assumed, and we think it just comes with the position and the uniform. However, it is something we should think about and internally evaluate on a regular basis. The greatest military in the world requires our loyalty. To that end, we must always strive to be faithful, obedient and respectful servants.