A Servant of the Air Force

  • Published
  • By by Col Brian Borgen, 442d Fighter Wing Commander

Every day I have the honor of being in the presence of selfless servants, whether it is a supervisor mentoring an Airman, or someone volunteering to step up for a deployment and putting themselves in harm’s way.  These people make investments in other Airmen and our mission which may never benefit the individual directly but is essential to our organization’s growth and our continued reign as the greatest Air Force in the world.

When we develop and cultivate a selfless climate in our wing, productivity and mission focus soar.  This philosophy is nothing new.  This is “Service Before Self.”

If you ever wondered where the word sergeant originates, it’s from the Latin word servient, which literally translates to 'serving.'  A sergeant in the U. S. Air Force can actually be construed as 'serving in the U.S. Air Force'.

Many people outside of the 442d Fighter Wing would not get excited about the word “serving”.  I do!  Especially when it comes to serving in this outstanding wing and our Air Force.  By your service, you exude selflessness which is an extremely noble trait.

When you are selfless and serve others, there is always an inherit element of sacrifice. For most, that sacrifice is associated with having to answer when called. First sergeants, volunteers, victim advocates, commanders, chaplains, medics and many others cannot say, "Now isn't a good time." Selfless sacrifice sometimes culminates in dying in the defense of our nation. The members of the 442d Fighter Wing have never shirked their duty with this horrific reality ever present. Our military members run toward the battle which defines selflessness!   

In everything you do while in the service, a good litmus test before taking action is to ask, "am I serving?" Some scenarios where the answer is “yes” would be: furthering the mission, following lawful orders, helping a fellow Airman, or protecting the Air Force's reputation by behaving in a professional manner.  Examples where the answer is no would be: walking by a task that needs accomplished or any act that damages the mission:  Train and Deploy America’s Premiere Combat Ready Airmen.   

I do not imply that anyone who reads this does not understand what it means to serve.  My intent is merely to remind you that words like selflessness and sacrifice are in danger of slipping out of vogue in today's culture.  My job as your wing commander is servant leadership.  Rest assured it is my primary focus.  My hope is that you will be as proud of being a servant in the Air Force as I am.  I sincerely hope you know how proud I am to fight alongside you.