The uniform makes the role model

  • Published
  • By Col. Jerry Martinez
  • 62nd Airlift Wing commander
This week, in addition to hosting our Rodeo in-progress review committee, McChord also opened its gates to 29 cadets from the Air Force Academy as part of Operation Air Force. 

For those of you unfamiliar with the program, Operation Air Force allows cadets from the Academy and various ROTC programs to spend three weeks at a base where they have the opportunity to become familiar with everyday tasks and activities of active-duty officers and enlisted Airmen and the Air Force way of life. 

For the next three weeks, these cadets will shadow company grade officers and senior noncommissioned officers. 

In addition to observing first-hand what type of work our Airmen do, they will learn a lot about the perceptions and expectations of today's Airmen. 

I'm sure you all know they won't be watching just the Airman they're shadowing, but also the Airmen they meet throughout their time here, and their perceptions will be shaped by every Airman they encounter. 

For those of us who wear the uniform every day, the cadets' scrutiny is nothing new.

As our Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley has said repeatedly, every Airman is an ambassador and every Airman is responsible for telling the Air Force story. 

Each time we leave the base in uniform, whether to eat lunch, run a quick errand or attend a community event as a wing representative, the actions and comments we make define people's perceptions of the United States Air Force. 

This constant scrutiny is part of our job. The American people have entrusted us with their freedom and way of life. 

Protecting their rights and security is a responsibility we all take very seriously. There is no other job in the world like military service. 

It's an honor to wear our country's uniform and serve in the world's best Air Force. I know you share the pride I have in serving our country. 

Take the time to make sure your actions in and out of uniform reflect that pride. 

I hope you all make the most of this opportunity to share our proud tradition with some of the Air Force's future officers while the cadets are here. 

And to our visiting cadets, welcome to McChord. Enjoy your time here, you will learn a lot from this incredible group of professionals.