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Words kill!

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. David Brinkley
  • 451st Air Edpeditionary Wing Command Chief
No other air force in the world can wage war against our enemies like the U.S. Air Force.

Our precision engagement puts bombs on target and lead down range (warheads on foreheads) with deadly accuracy upon our enemies. In laymen terms, we kill bad guys and we are good at it. But, there is another weapon in our personal arsenal.

Unfortunately we do not use this weapon against opposing forces but against our families, peers, and subordinates. This weapon does not kill the body but it kills the soul.

The words we use can be like a sword striking at the heart of the ones closest to us. It creates hostile living and working environments and disrupts the cohesion of a work center.

Brig. Gen. John Dolan, 451st Air Expeditionary Wing commander, has three focus areas. One of them is Respect. 'Respect for one another regardless of nationality, beliefs or gender... Mutual respect between one another builds an environment that gives everyone the opportunity to develop and perform at their very best, both on and off duty.'

A basic part of showing respect for one another is through the words we use. Are we building people up or breaking people down? Are our words condescending or respectful? Do they inspire or discourage? Do the words we use in our work sections create an environment that is harmonious or hostile?

Having true respect for one another requires us to be aware of how our words can affect those around us. Sexist or racist jokes or comments and vulgar or profane language not only violates good order and discipline standards but creates an environment that is not respectful of others.

Respect for others starts with understanding that we all are different. We all come from different parts of society and therefor our worldview and values differ. Respecting one another's differences is the most important aspect of creating a harmonious work environment.

What is your role? It is your responsibility to address inappropriate language immediately. Don't turn a deaf ear. When correcting, correct immediately so all around will know that you will not tolerate such conduct.

From out of the heart the mouth speaks. What are your words saying about who you truly are? Use your words wisely. Do not use your words to kill and corrupt but use them to inspire, motivate, encourage, coach, mentor, challenge, build and teach and to show respect for those around you.

Our U.S. Air Force air power is used as a killing tool. Our words should be used as a building tool. Respecting each other's differences and creating a hostile free atmosphere is key in producing the air power our nation expects each and every day.