Hard Work: Can Others See It On You?
(February 27, 2010)
2/23/2010 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNS) -- To borrow an often
quoted preamble, "So there I was ..."
I found myself on stage at a practice for the promotion and
recognition ceremony at our deployed base. One of the
promotees, a young airman 1st class, wore an oil (or some
other lubricant) stained uniform and boots. I studied this
young man and listened to the script to hear where he
worked. As I listened, I learned he was a maintainer being
promoted to senior airman below-the-zone.
What I saw and heard spoke volumes to me. Here was an Airman
who was just what he appeared to be -- a hard working
success. He was not a shiny penny; he was the real deal. I
could see he was on the mission and the mission was on him.
Apparently, his leaders saw it too because they selected him
to be promoted ahead of his peers.
I also pondered a question that day, "Can others see hard
work on me?" When we know our job, produce results and take
pride in what we do, we present the same image this young
maintainer projected. Being technically ready is the first
step of this journey.
Technical readiness is a key component of personal and unit
readiness. Simply put, know your job. According to Alexander
Suvorov, "The problem fears the expert. A trained man is
worth three untrained."
When we earn and maintain a skill-level commensurate with
our rank, we become enablers of airpower within our sphere
of influence and operational environment. Others see our
excellence and subsequently examine themselves and hopefully
adjust their efforts.
We must also put in the work. Knowing the job is one thing;
producing is another. Airmen neither alibi nor imitate; they
produce. As fortune would have it, I got a chance to see
this newly-minted senior airman in action a few nights later
on the flightline.
It was clear to me he was the master of this domain and a
wealth of knowledge on the matter of aircraft hydraulics. In
fact, his commander confirmed my observations. Through hard
work, we must be on target all the time -- building
structures, providing medical and force support, enabling
communications, refueling, flying sorties and yes, providing
maintenance -- because hard work is not measured in stains,
but service and results.
Finally, we must take pride in what we do. To put it in
another familiar way: excellence in all we do. There is
something infectious and contagious about excellence. The
more one produces it, the more they want to produce. You may
have heard the Biblical quote, "As iron sharpens iron, so
one man sharpens another."
It is true. The more I observed this young man, both at the
promotion practice and on the flightline, the more
introspective and motivated I became. I want others to see
hard work on me every day.
William W. Warmath once wrote, "Suffering and success go
hand-in-hand. If you are having success, it is because
someone before you suffered. If you are suffering, it is so
someone after you can have success."
As we build on the legacy of Airmen, Soldiers and Sailors of
the past, we must remember the only time success comes
before work is in the dictionary. Our hard work today will
produce immeasurable results for our family, Air Force,
nation and the world tomorrow. Can others see hard work on
USAF SMSgt. Les Bramlett
380th Expeditionary Medical Group
Air Force News Service
Comment on this article