Passion and caring preserves

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- As I started to think about writing this article, I asked myself what I look for in an Airman (meaning all ranks) and what I believe has allowed me the success I've had in my career. I say that because I believe I have the best job in the Air Force--squadron commander.

Obviously, we are influenced by our family upbringing and surroundings. Col Tanous mentioned in his Commander's Call that one of the things he believes the Air Force has right is the core values. I'd like to expand on one of the core values--"Excellence in All We Do". 

One phrase I have used throughout my career that I hold dear and pass along to every member of my squadron is the phrase "I don't care how much you know, until I know how much you care". I say this knowing that the caliber of people we have in the Air force are bright/sharp Airmen. Therefore, I believe the difference between one Airman shining as compared to another Airman is how much passion and how much they care about their job. 

Passion means many things. The definition I am referring to is a "boundless enthusiasm". The definition for caring is "to be concerned or interested in". If there is one thing I've seen transcends a person's intelligence quotent, it is their drive, caring, and passion they display in the job they are performing.

Has anyone come across individuals that given their God-given talent should be the best at what they do, yet somehow, the results are less than stellar or you feel like they aren't giving you everything they can offer? I'm sure the opposite is true as well. 

Everyone can name someone they know who they consider the best in their field, whether it be a physician, an engineer, an information manager, etc. I'll bet if you reflect why you consider them outstanding in their job it is because they have a passion and care about what they do. 

I have been asked by many people what it takes to become a commander or how to be successful in the Air Force. Some folks think that there is some special formula that will guarantee being successful and rising to the top. I tell folks I have subscribed to the age old saying "The most important job you have is the one you are currently in" so do the best to your abilities in that job. 

Every night I come across one of the janitorial custodians for building 7000. His name is Michael and he does an outstanding job taking care of the trash bins, bathrooms and other essential building items every single day, so folks come to work the next day to a clean environment. He is very professional and cares about doing the best job he can do. He has a great attitude and I look forward to seeing him come by my office every evening because it gives me a boost to see that level of commitment everyday. 

You will be successful in life no matter what you do if you take on your daily job with the fervor that you would for your favorite activity.

My dad taught me by his actions and words early on in life to never do a job half-heartedly. My dad was the best butcher I know! I challenge each and every one of you to take passion, caring, and pride in everything you do for your service. I can guarantee it will not go unnoticed nor unappreciated by your leaders, peers and subordinates. It will be evident that you care about the job you have been entrusted to do and you will not only become the best at what you do, but you will surely be successful in our Air Force.