What is "Warrior Ethos"?

  • Published
  • By MSgt. John Deegan
  • Civil Engineering Group First Sergeant
What is warrior ethos? A warrior is "one who is engaged aggressively or energetically in an activity, cause or conflict;" ethos is "the distinguishing character, sentiment, moral nature, or guiding beliefs of a person or institution." The warrior ethos is a guiding principle by which we live. It guides more than just our professional life as Airmen. By dedicating ourselves to the warrior ethos, we become better people overall.

The War in Iraq and Afghanistan has had a dramatic effect on the Air Force. We have transformed from a garrison force trained to turn back the tide of communism to an expeditionary force trained for missions ranging from humanitarian aid and natural disasters to fighting terrorism across the globe.

Explosive ordnance disposal Airmen are de-arming improvised explosive devices; Security Forces Airmen are engaging the enemy outside the wire, and Vehicle Operators are driving and defending convoys. These are just a few examples of Airmen on the front lines

To prepare our warriors for these expeditionary missions, the Air Force has made drastic changes to our basic training, physical training and professional military education programs. These changes are part of an overall effort to develop a warrior ethos within the Air Force. Along with these changes, a more robust physical training program and an increased emphasis on joint and expeditionary concepts in our professional military education courses will provide the foundation necessary to hone our warrior culture.

The warrior ethos is not limited to battlefield skills picked up during training courses - it is a mindset that, in some respect, requires Airmen to change how they think about our Air Force. It is changing the notion that pilots and aircrew members are the only ones who engage with the enemy. It is changing the mindset that only Security Forces Airmen defend the base.

The reality of current war is that Airmen are being asked to do tasks that 10 years ago were not conceivable. Cultivating warrior skills and developing our warrior ethos will guide our Airmen through the changes our Air Force is experiencing and provide them with the correct tools to fight and win.