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Commentary: Serving the nation in the military … own it!

By Master Sgt. James R. Davis | 326th Training Squadron | Oct. 18, 2017

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas —

Ownership is a mindset that you can consume and then freeze.

 

Discipline is a mindset; it is a thought whether you want to do something or not. Ownership changes the thought on discipline. One could say that the military lacks discipline or that we could be more disciplined. Actually that is probably one of the enduring challenges that we have next to money and manning.

 

Now you might be wondering about this ownership thought process. Reflect on this question: why did you join the military? The majority of the answers will be to support my family, to better self, for education, travel and more.

 

Those are all benefits for serving our great nation; 90 percent of the answers are for the benefits. It’s easy to think of all these benefits as free, but ultimately they carry a cost and it is your service to our great nation. We all joined the U.S. military for a variety of reasons but our shared obligation/duty is to serve our great nation.

 

Once you own that mindset, it changes you. One change will be you will stop giving what you want to give and start giving everything you’ve got … 100 percent effort.

 

All of your benefits will naturally envelop you. You will start leading with an exceptional self people will notice. I can provide an example, “I own the United States Air Force, ALL OF IT. The Greatest Air Force Known to Mankind!”

 

We all think and act selfishly at one time or another. That selfish thought process can be overturned however. Often we get selfish because we feel like no one cares about us. I flip that by showing overwhelming care with my teams. I make it known that I love them. In return, they show the same love for the team and myself. This makes it very easy to change the ownership mindset.

 

This leads us into the refreeze of the mindset. The military is not for rent and we are not leasing it for an enlistment. When enlisting for four to six years, we are owning the military for that time. Once we own that, our teams will naturally duplicate the same attitude.

 

In reality, the United States Air Force is owned by 493,000-plus Airmen. The thought process is that I own what I am doing.

 

My area of operation has my buy-in. I also get the buy-in of my peers and troops. Personally, my selfless ideology is reciprocated in my unit: the 326th Training Squadron, or Airmen’s Week.

 

Our vision is that we are the cornerstone of airmanship for the U.S. Air Force. There I am able to influence and motivate on average 700 new Airmen a week. I place 100 percent effort into displaying this ownership mindset.