I’m just a cog in the wheel

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- I was talking with an Airman one day about how important his job was to the mission and for some reason, the Airman didn't feel the same way. The Airman said, "But chief, I'm just a little cog in a big wheel."

Have you ever said that before? For you non gear heads: here is the definition of a cog in context of gearing: A gear is a component within a transmission device that transmits rotational force to another gear or device. A gear is a round wheel, which has linkages ("teeth" or "cogs") that mesh with other gear teeth, allowing force to be fully transferred without slippage.

I have worked on farm equipment and spent the entire day fixing a hay bailer only to discover that the problem was one broken cog off a small gear.

When you spend a hot day under a bailer and find the problem that cost you an entire day of bailing was a broken cog you appreciate the enormous importance of that single cog - and it gives new meaning to the comment the Airman made. One single cog makes all the difference.

Every person on Whiteman, whether active duty, government civilian, contractor or dependent is a cog on a gear, and each cog is vital to that gear.

When the gears represented by our squadrons and tenant organizations are working in unison then, and only then, does power transfer take place and that power is realized every time the B-2 bomber lifts into the air.

So the next time you're fixing that broken sewer line or standing the post, sorting mobility-bags, cleaning teeth, doing mission planning, fueling jets and a hundred other jobs - remember this: You made it happen.

I hope you feel like a small cog in a big wheel, because then you understand the importance of what you do for our nation.

I like the 509th Maintenance Group chant at all the functions, it demonstrates their hard work and spirit -- it goes like this: "If it's in the air, maintenance put it there."

The reality however, is this: If it's in the air -- YOU put it there.