“I … do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the constitution of the United States …”
These are more than just words to those of us in the profession of
arms. Our oath commits us to a noble journey; a journey towards a
more perfect union, to provide for our common defense, and to secure
the blessings of liberty for our nation and our posterity. Our
efforts require us to be committed to our nation’s strategic goals and
prepared to make great sacrifices in their defense. Having
passion for what we do is not an option – it’s essential to our
President John F. Kennedy, in his inaugural address in 1961 said, “Let
every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay
any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend,
oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty.”
These truths are being tested today in every corner of the world.
Our enemies are often difficult to identify and may walk among
us. Make no mistake, we are in the fight of a lifetime; a
protracted and asymmetric struggle that will challenge our resolve –
our passion – in a way no other has.
Expertise, confidence, enthusiasm, and conviction are hallmarks of
passion. We must demonstrate our passion in everything we
do! From building roads to launching aircraft, from Theater
Security Cooperation activities to taking care of your Wingman,
believing in what we do is essential for mission success. We must
continue to believe America will always prevail regardless of the
challenge. Passion gives us the power to persevere, and the moral
and physical courage to act boldly on our beliefs – it’s the
manifestation of our spirit through action.
Passion is contagious! Leaders, bolster your teams with vision
and enthusiasm. Followers, bring your expertise and conviction to
every facet of the mission. Have the courage to lead by your
actions and to leave your fingerprints behind.
“When there is an enemy to fight in open combat … many serve, all
applaud, and the tide of patriotism runs high. But when there is
a long slow struggle, with no immediate, visible foe, your choice will
seem hard indeed.” Kennedy’s immortal words have never been more
appropriate. As we continue to forge ahead in the global struggle
for freedom, ensure all you do contributes to mission success and lead
by your actions – have passion for everything you do!