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NEWS | March 26, 2010

Are you a warrior Airman?

By Col. William T. Cahoon 459th Air Refueling Wing commander

A warrior you say? You may be thinking, "I am not a Soldier or a Marine." You are right, we are Airmen, and we are all warriors. Just because we don't all shoot guns at bad guys or drop bombs on targets does not mean we aren't warriors. Webster's Dictionary defines a warrior as, "a person engaged or experienced in warfare." In our military, today you volunteer to serve, and you all have chosen to be warriors. In addition to preparing to defend against more traditional threats, you are engaged and experienced in a global war against terrorists who want to take over the world, impose their draconian will upon us, and drag us back into the Dark Ages. They have no scruples and will stop at nothing - one only has to look at the nightly news to see evidence of this.

Being a warrior is more than a job. It is more than being a competent technician or manager. It is a calling. It is about attitude. Do you have the warrior ethos? Again, Webster's tells us that ethos is, "a distinguishing character, sentiment, moral nature, or guiding belief of a person, group or institution." Do you understand your calling? Do you have the intensity and the passion that being a warrior requires? All of us must be prepared to do our job in the best possible way and to be willing and able to go into harm's way if necessary to do it. You must be able to endure sacrifice and hardship to execute your mission. Are you ready?

Everyday you must ask yourself, "What am I doing to guarantee that I am the best, that my team, and my unit are ready and the best?" You have a personal responsibility to be fit, trained, prepared and ready. Life is about choices and you have chosen this demanding path. Airmen must be warriors in the way they go about their missions regardless of the specific jobs they have. We are part of a warrior team and our success requires us to intensely, passionately and aggressively attack our mission. We must use our resources-people, time, equipment and money in the most effective, efficient way possible to train and carryout our mission. We cannot slack off.

You never know when you will be called upon to act. You must do all you can to ensure the highest state of training and readiness. You must take every opportunity to prepare. Warriors don't delay or make excuses. Warriors focus on the mission. Are you preparing yourself or making excuses? Are you fit? Are your shots up to date? Have you studied your equipment and procedures? Are you looking ahead rather than back? Remember, what got you here won't necessarily get you there. The enemy does not care how good or prepared you were yesterday. He worries about how good you are today, this minute, and tomorrow when he intends to attack. Are you thinking like a warrior? The enemy is.