Our service matters

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Eric Carney
  • 7th Airlift Squadron commander
Have you ever noticed when you listen to a discussion on the news about a natural disaster, domestic security issue or a concern about our border security, the conversation ultimately ends with what can the military do?

What is also important to note is the conversation stops with the military. There is no other option beyond the military. The American people look to us for the safety and security they depend on.

In the gravest times of need, it is the military that must be ready to answer our nation's call. The American people depend on us; our service matters.

It is possible we could become immune to what our service means. In part, because each day we are surrounded by those in uniform and much of the civilian personnel are either former servicemembers or family members of military personnel.

Due to the unique atmosphere and speed in which today's military operates, it is easy for us to overlook what our service means to our country's overall security.

Today, I ask you to take a moment and reflect on what your service means to our nation and recognize; our service matters.

The United States is in the beginning of what will be a time of transition for our military. We will transition from a military at war to a military training and preparing for the next war-- a transitioning military of a country with an increasing debt, which in turn would risk national security in other ways.

A military funded on shrinking budgets, which drivesĀ force reductions, and asked to keep already aging equipment operable longer than planned. Simultaneously, the United States faces many threats, such as the nuclear threat in Iran, escalation of tensions on the Korean peninsula and persistent threats from numerous terrorist organizations.

It will be the service of the men and women in the military who will provide the deterrent to these threats; our service matters.

For those who have joined the military since Sept. 11, 2001, you have only known a military of war, deployments and modernization. What lies ahead will be very different and challenge us in new ways.

I have realized during my military service we will never have all the money, equipment or people we want. Yet, we must provide our nation's senior leaders with options to our toughest problems. While not having exactly what we want, I am confident we will remain the world's greatest Air Force.

How can I be confident? Because each day, the leaders and frontline supervisors face challenges and work together to get the mission done. What lies ahead will not be any different. It will be the military who will find a way to shrink in numbers, keep equipment serviceable and help our nation with its budget.

This is the challenge which makes our service so important and critical to our national security; our service matters.

Every Airman is important and as we shrink in numbers, the value of each Airman's service increases. Only those who have worn the uniform know what it takes to serve. For this reason, we must take care of each other, we must be good Wingmen. We need to police ourselves to ensure we do not let a mission be at risk, do something to bring negative publicity on us or do something unsafe at any time.

The tasks we have ahead are too great and we need everyone we can. We must work together to highlight to each Airman the importance of their service; our service matters.

I will leave you with this thought: There are people and organizations who wish to harm or kill the American people each day. They are either deterred or stopped by the service of our military members, the military members on the patrols, sailing the ships, manning the checkpoints, flying the missions and training for tomorrow.

When we check in each day trained, ready and united together as a team, we keep our country safe. We are the people with the ingenuity, skills and talents required for the security of our nation in the times ahead; our service matters!