Truly Among the Best

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Susan Ferguson
  • 22nd Mission Support Squadron
Recently, I was talking with a group of senior non commissioned officers who asked me if I was completing an enlisted performance report, how would I define a "Truly among the Best" Airman. 

Although everyone's definition is different, and there are so many subjective viewpoints I instantly pictured all the amazing and selfless Airmen I have had the privilege to serve with over the last 28 years. I found that most Airmen, this includes Airman Basics to Chief Master Sergeants, that I was most impressed with had shared characteristics that stood out in my mind.

They are Airmen:

· who genuinely want to be in the Air Force and want to do their job well. They are very easy to spot in a crowd. They are enthusiastic and eager and naturally that way with no pretense. They don't alter their behavior depending on who they are talking or working with. 

· who know what they need to do and just do it. When they do make a mistake, they admit it, learn from it and move on. They don't count on others to tell them what to do nor do they blame others for their mistakes. 

· who jump on the bandwagon because the task at hand seems like a challenge versus a burden and they want ensure they are part of the adventure. They would rather be busy with a challenge then bored by maintaining status quo. 

· who "get it" and they are humble because of it. They understand that the "whole person concept" is not something you do simply to get promoted; you do it to make yourself better as an Airman, family member and member of society. Education makes you aware there is a huge world out there to learn about and giving to your community definitely reminds you that there are so many with so little and how fortunate we are. 

· who are more interested in being proactive than complaining about what they don't like. These same Airmen always seem to follow through on their ideas; they truly desire to be part of the solution, not the problem. 

· who don't have "I" in every sentence they speak. They think of others first and themselves second. They recognize that they are here to serve, not to be served. 

· who can correct an Airman or a chief master sergeant when they are wrong, all with the same tact, diplomacy and compassion. They are the ones that will do the right thing when no one is looking every time.

I still strive to be a better Airman every day. I recognize my many flaws and although improvement comes slow in my old age, I remain motivated by the multitude of awesome Airmen that have set such a great example for me to follow. Being perfect shouldn't be a goal; but constantly striving to be better should. My deepest appreciation for all of you who show us how it should be done!