Do you know the Airman's Creed?

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Mike Hayter
  • 8th Missions Support Group superintendent
Do you know the Airman's Creed? The Airman's Creed has been out for more than two years, yet there are still some Airmen who do not know it. Yes, I know sometimes it's hard to remember all of those lines on a piece of paper but what you need to do is to add meaning to it for yourself. This is the only way I can remember the creed.

Let's take a look at the first paragraph. ''I am an American Airman, I am a warrior, I have answered my Nation's call." What does that mean to you? To me, it means that I represent the folks from my hometown in East Tennessee. I have not lived there for more than 25 years now but I still feel that they are the folks that I am responsible to. To the folks back home in your hometown, you are their Airman, their warrior, and their representative in the great military of our Nation. To prove my point, think about the times when you've gone home to visit all your friends and family. You are not only their pride and joy, but also the pride and joy of the entire local community. This is because you are an Airman, a warrior, and you have proudly answered your Nation's call.

Now, let's move on to paragraph two. "My mission is to fly, fight, and win. I am faithful to a proud heritage, a tradition of honor and a legacy of valor." When I think about this paragraph, I think about the great Airmen who came before us; like Billy Mitchell and Paul Airey. I think about what we owe them in following in their footsteps. We must preserve their great heritage and we must do this in a manner that will also bring honor to the individuals who will follow in our footsteps. Finally, this paragraph speaks to me about the great history of the Air Force and how we each have a chance to play a part in shaping the future of not only the Air Force, but of the United States as well.

The third and final paragraph is the most powerful part of the creed. With words like freedom, justice, sword, shield, sentry and last but certainly not least, avenger, this paragraph strongly appeals to me. It reminds me that we in the military are oftentimes the only thing that stands between chaos and anarchy in many parts of the world. It reminds me that we are there to help maintain and often rebuild the countries of our friends and enemies alike.

Finally, the closing line strikes me the most, "I defend my country with my life." I am reminded of the people mentioned in the first paragraph; those friends and family back in East Tennessee. I am willing to give my life for them. Additionally, the final paragraph, to me, is all about the bond that we have as Airmen and the responsibilities we have to one another.

We are all in the profession of arms and we enjoy the power that comes with it. However, with that power comes great responsibility. We are all part of something bigger than ourselves. We have to be leaders, followers and yes, sometimes we have to be warriors. We have the responsibility to the Airmen on our left or right to take care of each other and demand the best of each other. We have to be strong for each other and we can never leave anyone behind because we are only as strong as the weakest Airman. We cannot fail. Our Nation needs us to be the strongest and most professional military force in the world.

If you believe and live this Creed you will have no problem remembering those lines because they will be more than just lines to you. They will be a lifestyle. I am an American Airman.