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Deploy well, leave better

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Glenn Sivells
  • 451st Expeditionary Mission Support Group first sergeant
As members of the U.S. Air Force, we hold ourselves to high standards. We pride ourselves as being one of the most effective and powerful air forces in the world today, but what about our effectiveness as individuals?

As members of a deployed unit we all have jobs that affect the mission here at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, every day ... from security of the base, supporting missions outside the wire, moving parts and people within the base or across the area of responsibility, providing services for members, and of course, directly or indirectly getting aircraft off the ground. However, how effective are you apart from your unit? What do you do in your spare time?

Being deployed has its advantages; no one here at Kandahar has to take time to go grocery shopping, or prepare meals for their family. There is no "honey-do list," no grass to cut, no landscaping to tend to. So what do we do when we are not fighting the good fight? Do you use your spare time productively? Have you set goals to meet by the end of this deployment?

Perhaps you set a new weight goal for yourself, or learning a new language. Whatever it is, can you truly say you left Kandahar better than you came? Many of us as Air Force members have professional development we need to complete, from Career Development Courses, to Course 14, and Air War College for some officers. As for those of us in the enlisted force, will you test for promotion when you return from your deployment? Are you ready to make that next promotion? This is a good opportunity and environment to prepare for those advancements you desire.

Even if this is your "Last Hoorah" for those who plan to separate or retire from the military, are you ready for civilian life? The education office offers college courses that can help assist in life after the Air Force.

You are currently contributing to the Air Force's mission to Fly, Fight and Win! Will you still be a winner apart from your unit? Will you take advantage of the extra time to make yourself better than you were when you arrived?

I'd like to personally thank each and every Air Force member for serving here at Kandahar; what we do is truly making a difference here in Afghanistan. Take some time (if you haven't already) to think about ways to make yourself better than when you arrived here. For those who have already set goals, be strong and stick to them. As members of the greatest Air Force in the world, we came to Kandahar on a very high note, but will you leave better than you came?