Every Airman a spokesman: Are you doing your part to tell the Air Force story?

  • Published
  • By Gabriel J. Myers
  • 12th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
Today an Airman did something amazing. I'm not sure what it was but I know it happened. Maybe a life was saved, a mission accomplished or an initiative adopted that saved countless resources and millions of dollars. 

Maybe an Airman did something more subtle such as graduate from Airman Leadership School, complete expeditionary combat skills training, thought of an idea to improve a technical order, improved a security plan, helped out at the Special Olympics or visited a disabled veteran on Valentines Day. 

Everyday it happens, some things obvious, some things subtle but there's no question that our Airmen are doing great things every day. 

Tragically, despite our amazing achievements it's almost certain that an incredible story will go untold today. 

Is this because we've come to expect excellence in our Air Force? Absolutely, but it certainly shouldn't excuse us from telling people that we not only do our jobs well but we do them exceptionally well. 

The Air Force is in its 60th year of existence and now, more than ever before, we have proven time and time again how vital we are to national security and leading the way in the fight. Each and every member of the Air Force family past and present must become better at telling the world our story. 

Consequently, to deny the very people who support us information about the importance of our force is taking the risk of losing their support for our mission in the future.
Being a member of the Air Force family is a 24-hour a day job. Whether you're in or out of uniform your contribution to the Air Force mission is on display for the public to see every minute of every day, so why not display the best of what the Air Force has to offer. 

How many times have you been on a commercial airplane and the person next to you asks the question, "So what do you do?" Your reply may be, "I'm in the Air Force" with a follow on question asking, "So are you a pilot?" 

If you happen to be a pilot then this would be a great opportunity to talk about flying, but it's also an opportunity to talk about the numerous other career fields that are directly involved with getting your sortie off the ground. 

If you're not a pilot, this would be an exceptional opportunity to talk about how you support the Air Force mission and your direct contributions to ensuring the American way of life.
Every Airman, in some capacity, contributes to the fight. Don't you think the American public deserves to know about what you do? How about our enemies? Shouldn't they know what they're up against? If they did, then maybe they would think twice about confronting us. 

We are the best air and space force in the world, but it's our ability to operate outside of that box that makes us vital, lethal and so unique. 

Not only do we dominate the skies, but we have the ability to provide world class security, conduct convoy operations, maintain vehicles, build remote bases, conduct survival and rescue operations, provide communications, monitor weather, develop new technology, provide food and morale services, gather intelligence, fix airplanes, monitor ground and air operations, conduct humanitarian operations and the list goes on and on. 

Is there another organization in the world that does everything our Air Force does? I don't think so. What we do every day is nothing short of remarkable, so why does the American public still confine our operations to the skies? Chances are because providing air power is undeniably what we do best. 

That's a fair assessment, but our challenge as Airmen is to educate everyone we come in contact with that the capabilities of the Air Force to defend our nation extend far beyond air operations. 

Telling the Air Force story is not as hard as it may seem. It's all about being opportunistic and having the ability to recognize and promote great people, great processes and great initiatives. 

Talking to friends, family and strangers about your job and the numerous missions of the Air Force is doing your part. Calling your public affairs office with great stories about new initiatives, amazing people and tremendous accomplishments in your unit is doing your part. Talking to your Airmen about the importance of what they do every day is doing your part. Getting out into the public through volunteer opportunities, sports, school functions and church events is doing your part. 

Don't miss out on an opportunity to highlight your people and their accomplishments, it may seem like just doing the job to you but the public may see it as unique or extraordinary. 

The world wants to know about the great things we do, so it's up to us to tell them; otherwise, we're only leaving them to make their own assumptions and draw conclusions. 

Our Air Force undoubtedly will accomplish every mission leadership tasks us with, but it's our professionalism, pride, integrity and belief in what we do that will convince America, our allies and ultimately our enemies that we are an unstoppable part of the total force that also happens to operate in the air. 

It's really an incredible story and it's about time we started doing a better job telling it, so do your part and become a spokesman for your Air Force.