Commentary – Taking care of ‘Our House’

Chief Master Sgt. Eric Dugger, 71st Mission Support Group superintendent

Chief Master Sgt. Eric Dugger, 71st Mission Support Group superintendent

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- As a first sergeant I had an organizational chant I loved to say: “Whose house,” and my squadron would yell, “Our House.”

We would do that three times and scream our squadron name. Then I would tell my unit, “Make sure you protect our house.” That house I referred to is our Air Force house.

What does this Air Force house I ask my units to protect look like? It is a house comprised of Airmen, NCOs, senior NCOs, civilians and officers.

Airmen represent the foundation, for without a strong foundation no house can stand.

NCOs represent the windows and doors. Through them the future of the Air Force rests.

Senior NCOs represent the roof or covering. They protect the house against the elements which attack it.

Civilians represent the nails, brick and mortar. They provide the longevity of the house.

Officers represent the homeowner. They take care of the house.

All the components of our house must do their job or the house will not stand.

Airmen must develop their primary and basic skills because this foundation will be utilized throughout their entire Air Force career. They need to know their jobs and do them well.

NCOs must develop their supervisory skills because it is through the windows of their eyes our Airmen will be develop and they need to be ready to open the doors of opportunity for greater responsibility.

Senior NCOs must mentor our Airmen, NCOs, officers and the civilian force. It is through this mentorship they ensure Airmen do not falter, NCOs see their future and take advantage opportunities and officers strengthen their leadership.

Senior NCOs complement the continuity, wisdom and experience of the civilian force.

Civilians are the glue that hold organizations together. It is through their wisdom they understand all components need to work together to accomplish the mission. Their continuity bridges the gap between the old and the new. Their experience connects the past, present and future of the Air Force.

Officers provide the resources necessary for all components to accomplish the mission. Officers are ultimately responsible for the development of Airmen and the future of NCOs.

Officers strengthen their leadership by walking side by side with senior NCOs and ensure we have a formidable civilian force.

The Air Force is the world’s greatest air power because no one part is greater than the whole.

A house can only stand strong if its foundation is solid. Its doors and windows must be clear, unbroken and airtight. The roof is firm with no holes or leaks. The bond between the nails, bricks and mortar are unbreakable. And the owner takes pride in what they have.

The world will hate you, rate you, shake you and break you. But how strong you stand is what makes you.