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Take the first step…

  • Published
  • By Col. Lawrence Martin
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
Every athlete knows the feeling. You know you need an early morning workout and you've reached the moment of truth. The alarm clock has squawked, you've hit the snooze button and you have a choice. Do I get out of my nice comfortable bed and step into the cold (hot, humid, windy, you know all the excuses!) world or just hit the button again and roll over for another hour of sleep? Some of us are blessed to have strong external motivation like a very motivated, energetic spouse who makes me stay on track, but we all face moments like this, large and small in every facet of our life, alone. 

Whether or not we take that first, proactive step helps shape who we are little by little, every day. These first steps are almost always quiet personal moments and really define how each of us embodies integrity. Integrity, our first Core Value, comes down to doing the right thing when no one is looking. Our personal integrity, our commitment to the mission, the country and even our families binds us in a very personal way to make the right thing happen. Taking the first step, being proactive, defines how we act on and display our integrity and how we are accountable to those we hold dear. 

During the holidays, our hearts are warmed by wonderful expressions of kindness and charity. Each of these individual acts started with someone deciding to take the first step and do the right thing to support someone else. Here at MacDill, we share a busy, often crowded base with partners from every service, many nations and with many retirees. We define our personal and unit integrity every day by how we decide to be proactive in this vibrant community. 

Our motivation to help our customers goes beyond how a store cares for its customers. The devotion of our entire phenomenal team to our country, our service and our families defines how we make amazing things happen every day. Our commitment to proactively doing the right thing, all the time while not ignoring problems allows the nation to depend on us. Even the smallest choices matter. In fact, it's personally taking responsibility for the little things, the small daily parade of opportunities, which truly defines who we are. 

Picking up the trash, documenting the good or bad performance, solving a problem for a customer (be they military, dependent, retiree or civilian) all give us a choice to get out of bed or to hit the snooze button and roll over. Which choice will you make today?