Airmen encouraged to take opportunities

SOUTHWEST ASIA -- Opportunities -- they may not always come your way, but when they do, you should take advantage of them, learn from them and most importantly grow from them.

They will most certainly prepare you for what lies ahead. Sure, you could simply go about your daily job and never venture outside your comfort zone, but what fun would that be?

I believe we all raised our right hand and swore to defend the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. Did this vow say anything about, "...only if it's in one particular location," "...as long as I don't have to be intellectually challenged," or "...as long as I don't have to deploy"...I don't think so.

Depending on what career field you are associated with, opportunities to get outside your comfort zone and experience different exploits or journeys may come in abundance.

As a career space operations professional, or "space geek" as all the want-to-be space operators call us (come on, you know it's true), my peers and I don't receive as many opportunities to expand our horizons. Countless other career fields are in the same position as well. It's in situations like these that we as Airmen need to look outside of ourselves and seek out opportunities to lead: Airman Leadership School instructor, Military Training Instructor or recruiter, just to name a few. The possibilities are endless! By tackling these different prospects and challenges, we develop ourselves as leaders and build our toolboxes for the future.

I often try to tell Airmen opportunities that present themselves might not always be the high visibility or high recognition types mentioned above, but if we sit by idle, the ones that do reveal themselves may pass by us, never to present themselves again.

Therefore, the next time your supervisor, superintendent or commander presents you with an opportunity to broaden your skill set, take it and run. Don't look at it as though they are trying to give you more work to undertake; perhaps they see something in you that you may not, that leader inside, just waiting to develop.

Each opportunity prepares you for something greater, as Abraham Lincoln so eloquently put it, "I will prepare and someday my chance will come." What that chance might be, will solely depend on whether you choose to accept the opportunity presented to you when it comes knocking.

Editor's Note: Chief Lusson is assigned to the 30th Operations Group as superintendent