Inspiration comes from different sources

  • Published
  • By Maj. David Kretz
  • 31st Services Squadron commander
I have a very simple plaque that hangs in my office. It's a plaque that's titled "Leadership" and has Luke 22:26 inscribed: "The greatest among you shall be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves." 

It was given to me by a former boss as I left for my first squadron commander position. On the back of the plaque, I keep a few notes and cards that I've received over time. They serve as reminders of people who have inspired me. People who I've worked with who have shown great work ethic, have been loyal through thick and thin and, above all, truly great people. 

You might be surprised who the notes are from. One is from a chief from my last squadron, another is from an Airman and one is from a cashier at the club. A pretty varied assortment, I must admit. 

Inspiration comes from many different sources and from people who work at different levels in our Air Force. 

These people are all around us. 

People who refuse to settle for mediocrity, people who always present themselves as professionals and who will never allow their actions to reflect negatively on their unit or the Air Force. 

These are the Airmen who volunteer their time to be part of the Base Honor Guard; the Airmen at the dining facility who ensure the food is great and not just good; 

The security forces Airmen who always have a smile at the gate despite poor weather; The dental technician who makes extra effort during a cleaning or the maintainer that checks the technical orders twice because someone's safety depends on him or her.
These people ask for little but deliver a lot because their personal standard won't allow them to do anything less. 

These people inspire me. They are the professionals who go the extra mile and uphold the standard whether their job is highly visible or they operate in the background. To me, these folks are always on center stage. 

Behind every inspirational Airman is a supervisor. Supervisors must reward success to create a cycle of success. It helps the individual and the organization because how we reward success is a strong indicator and reinforcer to the entire unit. 

Supervisors could be grooming the next Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force or the next wing commander. 

Even more importantly, supervisors may discover that they've been an inspiration to those who have inspired them.