Are you all in?

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Joseph J. Powell
  • 71st Medical Group superintendent

When I was selected for promotion to chief master sergeant in 2011, I heard the following statement many times; “Now that you are a chief, you are all in.”

This ideology pertained to assignments, deployments, senior enlisted special duties, strategic positions, future command chief nominations and more.

The same statement exists for lieutenant colonels promoted to colonel.

Being “all in” is emphasized as well when it comes to our Developmental Special Duty program.

But I completely disagree with the concept as it relates to certain ranks or programs. Being “all in” should start from the moment we enter the Air Force. It’s a mindset and a culture that we must embrace and foster from day one.

How many times have you witnessed someone manipulate the system to get out of an assignment or find a work around to avoid something or gain an unfair advantage? Is that being “all in?” Is that in line with our core values?

How about in the areas of your life where you have made a personal, professional or organizational commitment? Do your actions clearly indicate that you are “all in” and fully committed? Lack of commitment almost always inhibits full potential and reduces the opportunities for other Airmen who are “all in.”

It’s no surprise that our most valuable resource is our Airmen, whether active duty, government civilians or contractors. They execute the mission daily and ensure we remain the most feared and respected Air Force around the globe.

Could we execute our mission as well as we do if our Airmen were not “all in?” Of course not.

Our ability to perform under pressure, our mental toughness, our individual performance and doing what is best for the team is critical to our profession of arms.

Embodying “Excellence in all we do” requires us all to have the right attitude and to set the tone in our organizations. We must maximize every opportunity to make ourselves and our Airmen better.

The next time you hear the statement “all in,” it should not be tied to a specific rank or program. It should be a mindset and culture that starts the day we enter the Air Force.