The Drive for Excellence


As I watched the Olympic athletes strive for gold over the last few weeks I couldn’t help but get caught up in the competitiveness, energy, and personal stories of the athletes.


All of these athletes have a few things in common on their road to the games; setting goals, striving for excellence, and self-sacrifice.  We can relate these Olympic qualities to our military service.


It is hard not to observe the energy and excitement the athletes brought to the games. They were brimming with pride and enthusiasm as for many a lifelong dream was occurring. They had poured so much of their time, energy, and sacrificed so much to have the opportunity to compete on the world stage. We need to find and bring that energy into our daily lives and our workplaces because we also are competing on a world stage which has significant implications.


To start we need to set and achieve goals which will lead to small victories and pride in accomplishment. These small victories across the wing will build and multiply, enabling a stronger more resilient team. A strong, resilient team allows the wing to excel to produce more Airmen, advance our Airmen through personal and professional achievements, and “Feed the Fight” by producing a winning team full of energy and drive.


In order for the athletes to be competitive they strove for excellence to continuously better themselves and perfect their game, working together to bring out the very best in each other. The U.S. swimming and gymnastics team’s excelled, winning individual and team gold. We heard them praise their teammates and coaches and we saw them reach out to their competitors to acknowledge their performance and sportsmanship.


In order to better our Air Force team, we need to be proactive and continually improve our team through mentoring and coaching our Airmen with sound leadership principles and respect for each other.  We all have a role to play on the team, building the next generation of Airmen to enable future Air Force gold medal performances.


The road to the Olympic stage was filled with training and self-sacrifice. Athletes set time aside to improve and hone their abilities. The military also requires us to set aside time for training so we can master skills and abilities.


Will there be difficult days? Yes, however, we have each other to help mentor, train, and coach us through the tough times. We too can experience the pride of meeting our personal and professional goals and feel the energy and excitement of being on a winning team. Aim High Airmen.