Environment, commitment keys to achievement

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Jason Loschinskey
  • 71st Mission Support Group deputy commander
VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Here at Vance Air Force Base, our purpose is to turn pedestrians into pilots. Without question, most student pilots have been dreaming of this incredible opportunity for a significant portion of their lives. For many, flying has been a perpetual thought or consistent goal since childhood.


Due to the nature of our mission here at Vance, we strive to utilize a team approach when making that dream happen. Effective teamwork is essential to best honor and respect the energy and collaboration that contributes to the transformation of our Airmen’s passion into a profession.


To be able to steer one’s life from the point of having an initial thought, to be a pilot or otherwise, takes a significant amount of commitment and dedication. No matter what our role or contribution to a student pilot’s journey, as valued members of the Vance family, it matters.


Whether turning a wrench as an aircraft maintainer, providing support as a member of the local community, issuing an ID card, or conducting a final check-ride, there are a multitude of critical roles that contribute to the success of a student’s life.


Over the years, I have learned that goals and dreams are best achieved by the intentional partnership between a positive learning environment and commitment to maintaining a growth mindset. By that, I mean everyone should not only strive to be a life-long learner, but also be an active participant in the overall environment that encourages improvement and achievement.


We all owe it to ourselves, regardless of what role we serve in, to provide a learning environment that fosters high expectations, with a support system that inspires mentorship, growth and excellence.


Now, for a moment, I’d like to explore the other side of that coin, the side of our student pilots So here is some sage advice for those striving to earn their silver wings. Don’t get distracted. If flying is truly your passion, then do not allow anything to get in the way. Turn your passion into your profession, the profession of arms. Social/team-building activities with your class and friends are important, until they becomes a detriment to your performance.


Being prepared and knowing all of the material for every class, test, sim ride, flight and check ride are the most important things in your professional life right now. Do not lose focus. Put every ounce of energy you have into doing your absolute best every day--you, your families, your support system, and your teammates all deserve it.


As you progress through the toughest year of your life, think of those who have had a part in the journey of turning your passion for flying into your profession of arms, both here at Vance and across the world. People are extremely proud of you. Show your gratitude by doing your best every day.


While Vance Air Force Base may be a small airplane patch in a rural town in Oklahoma, we all play an immensely important part in the security of our nation. For more than 75 years, Vance has taken pride in training and preparing the dedicated, passionate, professional warriors necessary to support our interests in every corner of the globe. With the caliber of students, professional assigned personnel and members of the immensely supportive local community here at Vance, I know it will continue to do so long into the future, with passion, purpose and professionalism.