Found this buried in the Military Times forum about this E-9...apparently the Chaplain pulled him aside and basically asked him WTF was he thinking...
"BLUF: Answers to Airman’s Creed and Air Force Song requirements.
Never thought I’d be compelled to answer the “Why’s” on this AGAIN, but after the Wing Chaplain asked for a sit-down with me this morning he passed on a perspective I hadn’t thought about.
The Chaplain was worried about all the negative talk, blogs, and emails floating around cyberspace about my 5MT’s that he wanted to make sure I was aware of it. I told him that I was aware of everything since day 1, since I somewhat expected it. This wasn’t the first time I had used this particular 5MT. Then he asked me for more in-depth reasons behind the 5MTs I issue to the Enlisted, so I provided a few STRATEGIC reasons in short order. Basically, because he asked. After that short discussion, he fervently asked that I share those with you as well. I said that I would do so eventually…but he asked me again “with conviction” that I do it sooner as opposed to later. So I will.
In my first 5MT email I talked about changing the way we execute the Airman’s Creed and AF Song in public forums. Forums that are hosted by the Wing CC…my Boss. In other 5MT’s I talked about wear of the uniform issues and representing your units while you’re out and about on this base. You were asked to be Wingmen, Leaders, and Warriors in those regards as well.
Now why would those be important? Two very basic reasons. Uniformity and discipline.
Great in theory, but only worthwhile if we have an execution piece. That execution piece is right in front of us…and will continue to grow.
Over the course of the next few months all eyes will be on this wing. Many high-level officials will be coming here to put eyes on our efforts. Senators, Congressmen, Service Secretaries, Senior COCOM leaders, and maybe even higher. Many of those folks will request an Airman’s call where we pack a couple hundred people into our Theater for a forum.
As is the tradition, those forums will afford us TWO times where WE can execute something as a WING. Those times are when we recite the AC and sing the AFS. The very first time we did this as a wing was in a word…embarrassing. We can’t have that happen.
Since 90% of those voices will be ENLISTED, 90% of the opportunity to show uniformity in those LIMITED engagements will be OURS. Similarly, 90% of the opportunity to look disjointed will be ours as well. Say what you may, but this is where we can collectively show pride for those Marauders not in attendance . Granted, there’s no technical sense or mission sense in reciting the Creed or Singing the Song. But for those who can and will, you can make a statement about being an American Airman and a Marauder. I’m confident that we’ll display being of one function, form, and voice during those Airman’s calls on the horizon. One of those is tomorrow afternoon and the CC will be leading us all in the Airman’s Creed and the AF Song. We won’t let him down.
Our elected officials won’t get to see us perform at the tactical level and won’t watch our Aircrews as they maintain a 98% mission effectiveness rate. They won’t see the countless hours on post or our “hot & dirty” maintainers turning wrenches on the flight line. They’ll mostly get a mission brief and driving tour before an Airman’s call. What I hope they DO see in the Airman’s calls is the equivalent of the Pacific Islands’ “Haka”…a coordinated activity executed in unison to show that all of us are inextricable joined in the fight. Will this “Haka” make us play or fight better. No. Will it force our spectators to take notice? I can almost guarantee it.
Our visitors will see very few Airman in the trenches. They’ll drive by and see people walking about. Their uniforms and personal grooming will speak for the wing as well. Good or bad…uniform wear is also a voice. The way we’re represented will speak for our entire service…especially if the viewing party is a coalition leader or US Government official.
Finally, to clear-up the misconception about calling people out. Here’s how that will go down. It’s not going to be me doing the majority of the call-outs. It will primarily be the Junior Airmen calling us senior folks out. SFS folks are doing it now. Honor Guard members are doing that now. Sure, the CC and I have asked for gathered groups to recite in unison. Those who could…did. So, will I ever make a public spectacle of someone over this? Absolutely not. Will I ever humiliate someone over this? Never. Do I still expect folks to know it. Absolutely yes. Ask around…there haven’t been any Airmen singled out to recite. There have been groups though. And every sortie went perfectly.
BOTTOM LINE: I guarantee that some will continue to poke holes and cast dispersions into this exercise in uniformity, leadership, and followership. Have at it. Some will argue that the words to the Creed are all just words. I guess that’s where the basic problem begins and ends.
ROCK BOTTOM LINE: I’m more interested in the mission than ANYTHING else. I am more interested in our Airman than in our stuff. I am more interested in Professional Development than in making sure nobody gets their feelings hurt. I expect good order and discipline. And, if you remembered this from previous emails…I asked all of US to make the AC personal to you…especially since those stanzas begin with I.