Your AORs

  • Published
  • By Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Charles Cornelisse
  • 51st Fighter Wing Chaplain
Most active duty personnel are familiar with the acronym AOR. It means Area of Responsibility, right?

But for this article, I'd like to consider it to mean something a bit different - Assignment of Responsibility. The difference? An assignment is more personal and individual. You could think of it as having an assignment within an area.

Anyway, a few weeks ago when I was talking with a friend about our impending PCSs, I began to ponder again what this meant for my future. That's what started me thinking about Assignments of Responsibility. But before I get to PCS-type assignments, consider two others - our assignment with God, and our assignment with family.

I believe that our Assignment of Responsibility with God is the most important one we have. And I think the Constitution and our oath of enlistment or commissioning confirm this in their own way.

Our nation was founded, in part, on the tenet of the free exercise of religion, so everyone may worship in their own way without the government telling them the right way to do that. And since God is watching out for my best interest, it only makes sense that I give him my attention in return.

For me, it is part of my way of life that I stay engaged with God daily. And when I'm doing that consistently, my attitude and demeanor are well-balanced and I accomplish my tasks with greater success and satisfaction.

Our second Assignment of Responsibility is with our family.

I am happily married and have been for more than 33 years. My wife has been with me for my entire military career, including Navy enlisted, Air Force Reserve and active duty.

When we got married, I was not in the military. In fact, I had no intention of joining the military. But God had a different plan for me (remember AOR 1). And through intimate conversations, arguments, prayer, patience and commitment to each other, we have grown closer and happier as a couple.

For those of you who are not married, your family is still your second AOR. But friends also play a vital role, as they often become closer to you than family, simply because they're serving alongside you. So whether its family or friends, we have a responsibility to stand with them, as they stand with us, through our military years.

And third, we come to the Assignment of Responsibility, the base or location where you're serving. It's a fact of military life that we won't often get the assignment of our choice, sometime we never will. In other words, service before self.

Some assignments are easier to accept than others, but we ultimately must accept it.
Otherwise, we'll be miserable, won't perform our best and we'll end up making others around us miserable. It sure helps when we make a conscious choice to bloom where we're planted.

After all, it's not the location as much as the people at that location that make the difference.

This third AOR will change, but when we've committed ourselves to the first two AORs, the third one becomes a lot more satisfying. May we live out our Assignments of Responsibility to the utmost of our ability, so help me God.