Make no bones about it

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Joseph Kraynak
  • 22nd Maintenance Squadron
As a young officer in the U.S. Air Force, I am always excited to listen about life lessons from many of our Airmen.

Everyone's story is unique, and every wingman has different experiences and backgrounds that shape their personalities. In light of our unique characteristics, I would submit three bones - three critical attributes - that all Airmen should have. The country singer, Reba McEntire, is credited with unifying these attributes together. She says you need a wishbone, a funny bone, and a backbone.

Having a wishbone is extremely important. It is what causes us to strive for something and how we show what truly matters to us. In the end, we must go after what we want to do and what makes us happy. The business philosopher Jim Rohn said, "If you really want to do something, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse." We only have one life to live, so no excuses! Pursue your goals, dreams, and desires. Fight for them. Don't waste time doing anything else. The Air Force provides many resources and surprising opportunities that can only support us with this endeavor.

The next attribute, the funny bone, can be a game-changer. The funny bone affects everyone we come in contact with. Having a positive attitude is essential to interacting effectively with others. It is ingrained in our most basic instincts.  Optimism, happiness, and positivity all come from the funny bone. These attributes can make or break an operation, whether it is as complicated as aerial refueling or as simple as sponsoring a new Airman on base. Be careful how you use the funny bone - it is contagious. Supervisors can change their Airmen's mood and Airmen can change their supervisor's mood too - positively or negatively. Always keep the funny bone engaged!

Finally: the backbone. Human beings have the ability to know and even feel when something is not right. However, not everyone will put themselves on the line to stand for what is right. As military men and women, we have no choice. It is our duty to have the backbone to stand for what is right not only when no one is looking, but also when everyone is looking. Do not let peer pressure get between you and your honor. We stand unified as brothers and sisters-in-arms and there is no way we can defend our country on a global scale without defending the ideals that surround us on a personal scale.

These three bones go hand in hand with our core values and provide a respectable starting point for one to assess their own outlook on life. Ask yourself, "Do I have these bones?" If they are in your body, you are bound to be a successful Airman wherever you go.