Sharpen the Sword

  • Published
  • By Col. Brad Ashley
  • Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center Vice Commander
As vice commander of the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center, I am honored to serve beside each and every one of you as we constantly strive to get "better." Our ALC plays a vital role in sharpening the swords of our warfighters. This means ensuring they have the tools they need to succeed and helping guarantee our victory in the global war on terror.
   As American Airmen, we are constantly reminded of what it means to sharpen the swords of our warfighters. When we do our jobs well, we know the warfighter has a sword that is honed to a fine razor's edge. However, sharpening the sword has a broader context than just doing a great job. It means caring for our physical, emotional, spiritual and social well-being as well. We do this by sharpening our professional and communication skills, and devoting ourselves to strengthening our families, our health and our spiritual lives.
   The future of our nation lies in the hands of the next generation. Our active duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian Airmen are our most valuable assets. That's why developing and caring for our Airmen is one of the Air Force's top priorities. We continue to focus our efforts on providing the education, training and experience they need to succeed.
   All of our individual and team efforts help keep our own swords sharp. So what dulls a sword? One cause is apathy. It is often a result of frustration, worry, or a sense of powerlessness. Apathy negatively affects our attitude and the way we react to change. Many of us are uncomfortable with the unknown. To sharpen our swords, we must strive to keep a positive and enthusiastic attitude. We must be open and flexible, seek change and welcome its challenges. This will help us adapt and in the process, become more knowledgeable and get "better."
   Another reason our swords dull is lethargy. When we are tired and fatigued, our bodies are often responding to stress or overexertion. To sharpen our edge, we need to listen to what our bodies are telling us. If we take good care of ourselves, eat balanced meals, stay fit and healthy, we can maintain our sharp edge and lead happier, more productive lives.
   Our personal and professional lives are often filled with difficult situations. As American Airmen, we are more than ready for these tough challenges.
   "We are a special breed, with discipline, courage, innovation, flexibility and honor stamped in our DNA," said Gen. T. Michael Moseley, chief of staff of the Air Force.
   He's absolutely right! By building on these qualities, by devoting ourselves to improving our personal and professional lives, we are well on our way to achieving our goals.
   Our Airman's Creed says, "I am an American Airman. Guardian of freedom and justice, my nation's sword and shield..." We should keep in mind we are a nation at war. When our nation's leaders want to put a combat boot on the chest and a sword at the throat of America's enemy, that sword must be at the ready and be razor sharp.
   You have the skills, knowledge and reputation to help our warfighters fight and win the global war on terror. Keep up the great work. Hooah!