Commitment to excellence

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Kent Mickelson
  • 509th Bomb Wing chief of safety
A “commitment to excellence” isn’t just a saying made famous by former Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis, it is on display at Whiteman Air Force Base (AFB) every day.

Whether we are striking ISIS camps in Libya, flawlessly generating aircraft during Higher Headquarters exercises, or hosting senior leadership, your commitment to excellence shines through. I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every person on this base for their dedication to the mission and to let you know what an honor it is to serve alongside you.

In order for us to continue our commitment to excellence, we must occasionally take a step back and reflect on ways we can strengthen our team. From my perspective as the 509th Bomb Wing chief of safety, Team Whiteman is doing a tremendous job of accomplishing the mission. However, there are a few items that we need to address as a community. If we all take these issues seriously, we prove our commitment to remaining the nation’s premier bomb wing.

We need to take care of one another.
We are all challenged by the critical role that Whiteman AFB plays in the defense of our nation and the operations tempo that comes with that role. We all feel this burden, whether it’s lost time with our families, lost opportunities to decompress, or the inability to take time off when we would like to.

This burden means we need to look out for each other and move beyond slogans and buzzwords in an attempt to display true empathy for each other. When we truly take the time to understand our coworkers, we become a stronger team and thus display our commitment to our mission, our country, and each other.

We need to take care of our own well-being.

This may seem obvious, but we need to take the time to consider our own physical, mental, and spiritual needs as we remain devoted to the mission. Often we feel like the mission may demand we push these needs aside.

While this may work to achieve short-term success, it is a recipe for failure in the long run. We need to take the time to ensure we are eating properly and working out, set personal goals and work toward achieving them, and that we take time to address our spiritual concerns. When these needs are fulfilled, we become stronger individually and collectively, and thus remain committed to mission accomplishment.

I would just like to reiterate how proud I am to serve with all of you. Your dedication to our country and our mission is truly remarkable. Let’s continue to look out for one another and ensure we remain committed to being the nation’s premier bomb wing!