JOINTNESS - What does it mean to you?

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. James H. Christian II
  • 8th Logistics Readiness Squadron
As I walk around Kunsan Air Base, I can't help but think of the word "joint", whether Sailor, Soldier, Airman, Marine or in Kunsan's case, fellow Korean forces, as we all come together as one team, one fight. I have been assigned to joint commands before and although the missions get tougher, the "jointness" with the other services has gotten easier. The word "joint" for most of us means when two things come together at a certain place. However, in relation to the Armed Forces "joint" could be defined as "constituting an activity, operation or organization in which elements of more than one armed service participate and come together".

Today's global challenges demand that the Armed Forces operate as a fully integrated joint team across the range of military operations. These operations may take place in concert with the military forces of allies and coalition partners, U.S. and foreign government agencies, state and local government agencies, and intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations. The challenges are best met when the unified action of the Armed Forces elicits the maximum contribution from each service and DoD agency and their unique but complementary capabilities. Joint doctrine promotes a common perspective from which to plan, train, and conduct military operations. It represents what is taught, believed, and advocated as what is right and what works best. Competent joint war-fighters must be skilled strategic thinkers with a joint perspective, able to optimize joint capabilities and apply strategic and operational warfare.

Joint warfare is team warfare and the effective integration of joint forces protects weak points or seams from exposure to an adversary. Joint forces are able to rapidly and efficiently find and exploit the adversary's critical vulnerabilities and other weak points as they contribute to mission accomplishment. Keep in mind, sometimes this does not mean that all forces will be equally represented in a joint operation and one service might be the lead which leads to unity of command. Unity of command means all forces operate under a single commander with the requisite authority to direct all forces employed in pursuit of a common purpose while unity of effort requires coordination and cooperation among all forces toward a commonly recognized objective.

Along with our own top three, I have been involved in both the Navy and Coast Guard Chiefs Mess, I learned their history and spent time involved with Chief Petty Officer selects indoctrination process and their pinning-on ceremony. In addition, I have worked for and served under Army SNCO's and Officer's. We can learn a lot from each service in all ranks, and it is important we pay attention to each other. Without networking and the sharing of ideas, confusion and misunderstanding can set in. By asking questions and sharing war stories with other service members we can learn each from each other and clear the lines of communication.

Finally, I encourage all of you to reach out to the other service members, get to know the person, their rank insignias, ask questions about their military history. In the two months assigned to Kunsan, I can't help but feel honored by the professionalism, synergy and team camaraderie of all the services to come together, especially as one joint team. The nature of the unique and ongoing challenges to the United States and its interests demand that the Armed Forces and coalition partners now and in the future operate as a fully integrated joint team.

United States Forces Korea Priorities:
Sustain and Strengthen the Alliance
Maintain the Armistice. Be Ready to "Fight Tonight." Deter and Defeat Aggression
Transform the Alliance
Sustain Force and Enhance the Team - UNC/CFC/USFK
8 Fighter Wing:
Defend the Base - Accept Follow-on Forces - Take the Fight North.