Deployments: A test of integrity, service, and excellence

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Daryl J. Hogan Jr.
  • 10th Airlift Squadron first sergeant
Take a look at your uniform. The multi-shaded patterns that we wear are not designed to blend in with stateside environments. Our airman battle uniforms are a daily reminder that our other "office" is downrange and it often has no walls.

As Airmen, deployments are an important part of our calling and are a test of our integrity, service and excellence.

As men and women of integrity, we ensure that our families are well prepared for our absences, that they understand the significance of our prompt attention to mission tasking, and that our days together are as fun and memorable as possible. Putting family first doesn't mean neglecting the mission. Conversely, it means being proactive so that we and our families may more easily transition when duty calls. And when it's our turn to deploy, we step forward.

Our "service before self" commitment is what sets us apart. It's the same commitment that was made on April 18, 1942 by Lt. Col. James Doolittle and 16 B-25 aircrews that had never launched from an aircraft carrier. It's also the commitment that was made by the men of the 332nd Fighter Group, under the command of Col. Benjamin O. Davis Jr., while flying escorts for heavy bombers during World War II. And today still, we are committed to flying strong and courageous into the wild blue yonder with faith in our God, our country, and our fellow Airmen.

When an American citizen shakes your hand and thanks you for your service, they typically have no knowledge of your personal accomplishments. What they know is that the uniform you're wearing represents a history of excellence. That excellence is our heritage and must be guarded as such. Undoubtedly, it represents brave men and women deployed around the globe at that very moment: Airmen, leaders, warriors, who when called upon simply said, "I'll go."