Attitude: Positive – Proactive – Professional Airmen

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. David Duhadway
  • 349th Air Refueling Squadron commander
As we enter the holiday season, I am reminded of how busy this time of year can be. Over and above the usual end-of-year activities, we now have a major inspection at our doorstep, with special emphasis on our maintenance and safety functions.

The preparation for this inspection has been challenging, and culminates a year that has included three major operational inspections, our Open House and Airshow, and the Wichita marathon. We have also had to deal with the Global War on Terror, now in its fifth year, with no end in sight. My recommendation for dealing with these challenges is straightforward: be positive, be proactive, and be professional.

Being positive may not come naturally for everyone, but is the critical element to succeeding at whatever challenges you may face. It may not seem like much, but it makes a huge difference. No matter the situation, you can choose to be positive. A positive approach is like a good infection; it catches on with others around you and can re-energize your entire team. Choose to be positive and you will see opportunities instead of impossibilities.

Being proactive means understanding that you make the difference in what happens to you. Some things happen by chance, but with knowledge that comes from studying, listening, and watching, you will soon find those things over which you have influence or even total control. It might be something as simple as what time to wake up in the morning, or choosing to set aside time for workouts or spiritual activities.

In the Air Force we strive to provide all Airmen with the tools to plan ahead for any contingency. Learn what's coming up, and act now so you won't have to react later.

Professionalism means understanding that military service is more than just a job. It means that we military professionals are more than just an average aviator, maintainer, technician, or whatever your particular expertise may be. It means we are experts at what we do, and that it's a true calling. In the Air Force, professionalism is colored by our core values: integrity, service before self, and excellence in all we do.

Professionalism makes the difference between meeting minimum standards, versus setting benchmarks for others to follow. So the next time you're facing what seems like an insurmountable task, take a moment to think positive, be proactive, and remember that you are an Air Force professional.

Thank you for all you do in the service of our country.