How do you measure success?

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Scott Marshall
  • 8th Fighter Wing career assistance advisor
Some of us measure our success by the rank we wear, the ribbons on our chest, or the degrees we earn. It seems like a simple question to answer, but achieving success takes hard work and dedication.

Succeeding in today's Air Force takes a personal commitment and sacrifice to put your service before yourself, having the integrity to do your job the right way every time, and striving for excellence in all you do, in work and in your personal life.

Another factor in success is having a support system that makes it all possible. Whether it is a significant other who is there to give you an encouraging word, a supervisor who gives you that much-needed feedback to make you adjust your vector and help you perform at an optimal level, or a mentor who is there to give you the advice that you need, not want, a support system is vital to helping us achieve our goals. We all love to hear accolades when we receive them, but imagine our potential if we had a mentor who could push us to achieve just a little bit more.

It should be a priority for each and every one of us to establish short- and long-term goals. In the year we have the privilege of being a member of the Wolf Pack, we all must lay out our game plan for what we want to accomplish while we are here, and at the end of our tour measure how successful we were in achieving those goals. Whether your goal is to finish your degree, to study for and earn that next stripe, to improve your physical fitness, or to enhance your spiritual wellness, you should never give up on your goals.

We all suffer setbacks throughout our lives when striving to achieve the things we want, but the important thing is to never give up and always keep our eyes on the ball. Strive for success in achieving your goals and push yourself beyond your limit. As we prepare for the Operational Readiness Inspection, we must fine-tune our knowledge and skill so that we primarily and most importantly, will be prepared for any contingency shall it arise, and secondarily, awe the inspection team and show them what the Wolf Pack is made of.

As an Airman, I had the privilege of attending an AF leader's retirement ceremony, and his advice has ringed true throughout my career. He said, "You have to take care of your Airmen. Pat them on the back every day. Pat them up high when they do good, and pat them down low when they do bad."

It is everyone's responsibility to have a hand in the deliberate development of our Airmen. If you are a new Airman, it takes a personal commitment to ensure you do your part by successfully completing your Career Development Course and becoming proficient in your job. If you are a supervisor, ensure you provide timely and meaningful feedback, and push your Airmen to succeed, whether it's completing their degree or prepping them for a strong quarterly award package. As a Wingman, push your peers to strive for success in everything they do and always watch their back, be it at work or out on the town. If you supervise or lead at any level, I challenge you to measure your success by the quality of the Airmen you help mold into the most competent and efficient war fighters they can possibly be while serving in the greatest Air Force in the history of the world.