Service Before Self

  • Published
  • By MSgt John Deegan
  • 755 AES First Sergeant

The military profession is sharply distinguished from others. Upon entering the Air Force, Airmen accept a sacred trust from the American people. They swear to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. They take this obligation freely without any reservations and thereby commit their lives in defense of America and its citizens.

By voluntarily serving in the military profession, Airmen accept unique responsibilities. In today's world, service to country requires not only a high degree of skill, but also a willingness to make personal sacrifices. Airmen work long hours to provide the nation with supreme combat capability available anytime, anywhere. They deploy and PCS to harsh locations to meet the needs of the nation. They are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When contingencies arise that require our immediate deployment to far corners of the globe, Airman willingly goes without complaint.

But service before self has vast meaning beyond this. It's the willingness to be separated from our friends and family, whether by deployment, a remote assignment, or simply the extended hours required during an exercise to meet the mission on any particular day. 

Professionals remain with the Air Force because of the satisfaction gained from doing something significant with their lives, the pride in being part of a unique organization that lives by high standards, and the sense of accomplishment gained from defending the nation. Each of us place service before self as we perform our day-to-day tasks. It's what we do. It's who we are.