• Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. David Milne
  • 8th Civil Engineer Squadron
I often get asked the question, "Why are awards so important?" The text book answer is they recognize sustained performance on and off duty. Imagine coming to work and never receiving a "thank you" or pat on the back for a job well done. Most of us dislike being recognized in public, especially in front of our peers. Yet, if recognition were not a part of the Air Force, morale would suffer considerably. I use myself as an example.

The day senior master sergeant results were officially released Air Force wide, my commander at the time sent an email to our squadron at 5 p.m. stating I had been promoted and to congratulate me. I didn't think much about it, but it was my wife who called and asked why I was not recognized in front of the squadron, and why she and my daughter weren't a part of that announcement.

It was the first time in my career that I realized how important recognition really was. It was also the first time that I felt like my squadron leadership didn't really care about me. I know they did care, but they just didn't take the time to do it right. I realized that my promotion was significant and that recognition even resonates to our families. Awards and recognition simply demonstrate that your leadership cares about you and wants others in the organization to see how well you're doing. Without thinking about it, you become a role model for your subordinates and peers.

Is it absolutely necessary to win awards, even if only at the squadron level? Yes, it's another way to clearly articulate to our great Air Force you deserve to advance. Love what you do and do what you love! It normally equates to being nominated for an award by your leadership--recognition. Keep doing the awesome job you're doing and seek opportunities out in the wing to get involved. We do great things as a Wolf Pack, and it's a pleasure to watch all of you get recognized because you are the best! Thanks for what you do and keep up the good work! WOLF PACK!!