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What does PRIDE mean to you?

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Doug Burhans
  • 451st Expeditionary Mission Support Group First Sergeant

Many of you may have heard the phrase, "pride in ownership," but have you actually thought about what this means to you?  Pride has different meanings to different people.  Pride can be defined as a dignified sense of what is due to oneself or one's position or character, self-respect or self-esteem.     


However, pride can also be mentioned as a high opinion of one's nation (national pride) or ethnicity (ethnic pride).  I think it would be safe to say, we are all proud to be Americans and also members of the United States Air Force.  For this article I would like to discuss some qualities that I researched and believe instill the very meaning of PRIDE.


Passion is an attribute that I feel is displayed by attitude.  Passion is the drive that motivates one to accomplish a mission or goal.  Having positive and energetic passion has a tendency to be contagious, thus infecting others with similar positive emotions.  Passion directly shows an attitude of caring and pursuit of success.


Respect has a great importance in life and is no different when we talk about pride.  As children we are taught to respect our parents, teachers, and elders, other people's feelings and rights, our country's flag and leaders.  I would only hope that we learn both that our lives together go better when we respect the things that deserve to be respected and that we should respect some things independently.  Basically, just treat other as you would like to be treated.


Integrity defines our character.  No source defines integrity better than our own Professional Development Guide (PDG).  The PDG states that integrity is the willingness to do what is right when no one is watching.  Integrity is honor, YOUR honor.  Integrity is what makes Airmen who we are and what we stand for.  Integrity is the single most important part of our character and without integrity we have no honor.


Determination is the inner-strength that gets us through hard times.  Having determination or the tenacity not to give up when times get tough is extremely important.  A phrase that describes determination is "When the going gets tough, the tough get going."  We have all been in situations when things seem impossible, but somehow things just seemed to work out.  How did this happen?  Well, the answer should be very clear: you had the determination to follow though.


Excellence in what we accomplish directly ties together all the qualities that have been discussed.  The final product or service each of us provides is a direct reflection on the pride we take in ourselves and our profession.  Excellence is a quality that gives the impression of knowledge and intelligence.  In our profession many lives are at stake and the only way to preserve these lives is to be excellent in all we do.


In this short article and through the basic qualities of Passion, Respect, Integrity, Determination and Excellence, I hope I was able to get you thinking about PRIDE.  Not only in the word itself, but the concepts and qualities that describes the meaning of PRIDE.  What does PRIDE mean to you?