Teamwork, recuperation necessary to maintain global military dominance

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. James Clavenna
  • 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander
Recently I traveled through a couple of airports while on leave, and I could not help but notice the hundreds of Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen in uniform.

Each had their own story -- some were saying farewell to their families on their way to war, some were home for rest and relaxation, while others were recent graduates of basic training en route to their first duty station.

I felt full of pride at all those who raised their hands to serve, and I was honored to be on the same team.

As our country celebrates the 231st anniversary of its independence, it is important that we honor the guardians of our freedom.

Generations of servicemen and women have helped form the world's premier team -- the U.S. armed forces ... the challenge today is to build on that legacy.

Any sports fan will tell you that great teams come and go, some win championships several years in a row but most are only great for short periods of time.

Every team wants to win, and our military is no exception.

The difference however is that the U.S. military cannot afford to lose -- there is too much at stake.

So the question at hand is how does our military sustain excellence in the future?

The answer is through teamwork and a strong, persistent drive to make things even better.

Improvement and change are seldom easy, but they are critical to success.

And time has shown that it is only through improving that a team can maintain its dominance.

As for teamwork, football coaching legend Vince Lombardi once said, "People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses or the problems of modern society."

Coach Lombardi knew the value of teamwork, fostered it and achieved great success.

Our military must do the same.

The other critical aspect to a team's success is the health and welfare of its members.

Most professional athletes need rest and recuperation to maintain their top playing form.

Military members are no exception ... time off is critical to sustain one's focus, skills, morale and contributions.

As we celebrate our nation's independence this year, please thank your fellow teammates, reaffirm your commitment to make our military even stronger, and ensure you take time to rest and reenergize.