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The way of the Airman warrior

WASHINGTON (AFNEWS) -- Throughout history, warriors have served and died for king and country; and they did so following a code.

For the samurai, it was bushido; for knights, chivalry; the musketeers, "all for one and one for all."

The greatest warriors throughout history understood the concept of serving something bigger than themselves and adhering to their respective codes, which was just as important as the weapons wielded, the battles fought, the wars won.

There is an effort now to hone the image of American Airmen, defining our fighter philosophy, our warfighting ethos. Every single day there are Airmen in combat in ways they never thought they would be.

Like those warriors of old, we Airmen also have a code by which to live. Our core values are the standards to which we are held. And now we have our Airman's creed -- a statement of beliefs to remind us all how we fight, why we fight and for what we fight.

Traditionally, it was our officers who conducted the majority of our combat roles, but our enlisted forces were never mere squires, and certainly today, the enlisted corps stands shoulder to shoulder with every lieutenant and every general in the fight. Airmen of every rank are deployed around the world right now, and there are higher expectations of them than ever as they perform their jobs in a war zone.

Here at home, we have even more work to do, as we perform not only our usual jobs, but also also compensate for the lack in manpower. We aren't there, on the front lines. Instead, we are here, on our own front lines, fighting the fight in a different way. That makes us no less part of the fight. We carry on in their absence, and we await their return, until it is our turn to deploy.

The Air Force may not have a standard infantry force, but our sister services don't possess the diverse amount of air, space and cyberspace operational tools we employ.

And that's the point. The Army isn't tasked with flying F-15E Strike Eagles into a hostile area to provide combat air support. The Navy isn't charged with launching the Delta V rocket into space or providing daily air superiority over the United States. The Marines don't ensure the defense of our nation's satellite and network systems.

These are all missions which make the Air Force unique within the armed forces. And because it takes everyone within the Air Force to make those missions successful, how can we not all be considered warriors?

More than fighting, being a warrior is a state of mind, a sense of pride in accomplishments and how a victory is achieved. The Air Force has its mission, its code and its people.

Every Airman operates on par, not only with every Soldier, Sailor and Marine in the armed forces, but also with samurai, knights and musketeers from throughout history.