Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

Warrior ethos: the peace of a nation’s heart

by 1st Lt. Jonathan Simmons

21st Space Wing Public Affairs

“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” — George Orwell, author.

Mr. Orwell makes a point that I think we don’t often consider to its fullest. In many countries around the globe the sleep of peoples is not peaceful, because their dreams are fraught with fearful images and the possibility that, for them, the morning might not come.

This is a feeling most of our friends and families have never experienced, and there’s a good reason for this: Our commitment to their defense protects them from fear of harm.

What kind of men and women are we who inspire this trust in the people of our country? We are warrior Airmen. We’re people from every walk of life who believe in a creed, who suit up in armor of silver and blue and stand on a line and tell them “no one is going to hurt you.” The legacy of valor that Airmen carry on, and the trust that the people of our nation have in us, are qualities we should be proud of, cherish, and defend.

What does warrior ethos mean? It means we are “all in,” having the distinguishing characteristics of a warrior: a hardiness of spirit with moral and physical courage. Some of us, have deployed, and some of us haven’t , but the fact remains that we must be ready mentally and physically to be in the fight … ready to do violence so that the flag of our country might forever remain gallantly streaming.

In 2008 more than one third of the 21st Space Wing’s military Airmen deployed to defend America and her interests around the world.

Furthermore, in early 2007, the Air Force chief of staff proclaimed: “Every day, 53 percent of our Airmen are committed to a combatant commander, that’s more than the Army, the Navy and the Marines.”

In February 2009, leaders told us that in executing Joint Expeditionary Taskings, warrior Airmen, like you and I, are performing tasks in the field for which no service has an available capability or competency. In fact, currently nearly 34,000 Airmen are deployed to contingencies around the globe including 4,100 for JETs at 63 warfighting locations in the U.S. Centeral Command area of responsibility. These are just a couple of facts that point out why it’s important for all Airmen to embrace the warrior culture … because our country cannot win without us.

The one fact that is clear when looking at these facts: warrior culture is our culture.

I ask all Airmen to remember that, no matter what you wear on your sleeves, collars or what badge you wear above your U.S. Air Force tapes, you are warriors who have answered a potentially dangerous call. And the work you do for long hours here and abroad allows the people of the nation we love to lay down and sleep in peace each night. It is the case in every nation whose cause is just, that its warfighters are its peacemakers.

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