Dragon Corner: Taking care of our future

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Christopher Bouker
  • 334th Training Squadron
Have any of you ever been to the Azalea Dining Facility? Which way did you travel to get there? Did you take the fastest way because you were in a hurry, or did you slow down and take the safest way? With all of the challenges we face as a total force (manning, budgets, etc.), we have become accustomed to finding the quickest way to get something done.

We are a mission driven force. Despite the challenges we face every day, we smile, salute proudly, say "yes sir" and "yes ma'am,"--and get the task accomplished, but we have to be careful not to sacrifice efficiency and safety for speed. Near the Azalea, there is a small road in between the Precision Measurement Evaluation Laboratory unit and the Logistics Readiness Squadron. It appears to be a continuation of Chief Master Sgt. Etchberger Way.

For those who have traveled this road between the hours of 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., the biggest concern to be conscious of is the average of five hundred to one thousand of our bright young future leaders who use this small piece of road as a makeshift troop walk to get to lunch. They are just going about their days marching with snap and precision. These Airmen--our future--are making the Air Force's mission of "Fly, Fight, and Win" their mission. They will be ready to take on that task when it is time.

We cannot afford to carelessly speed through this area or swerve around formations just to get somewhere. As dangerous as this may sound, it happens more often than you may think. We have NCOs whomonitor the troops while they march and we see this type of thing pretty frequently. I know we have the best Airmen (uniform wearing or not) here on the best installation in the United States Air Force. We prove this day in and day out by the great work that every Keesler Dragon produces, but we can't miss the smaller parts of our day--the turns we take, the traffic we navigate, or the people we pass.

These Airmen need our help. They need to know that they can trust in us and know that we have their best interests in mind. The sergeant chevrons that many of us wear symbolize Service. Our people are our mission; our "sorties" or planes and pilots. They are Keesler Air Force Base's Operations Unit. Whether we wear chevrons or not, we are here for them and we need to look out for them. We need to be there for them on the battle field, in garrison on a home unit mission, and on the streets of Keesler. This little road is one place where our mind needs to be focused on form over speed and intensity.