Commitment to yourself and the Reserves

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Dave Merris
  • 944th Civil Engineer Squadron
Ask 10 people what commitment means to them and you will most likely get 10 different answers. When it comes down to it, commitment is what transforms a promise into reality. It is the words that speak boldly of your intentions to yourself and others and the actions which speak louder than words. It is making the time when there is none. It is coming through time after time after time, year after year after year. Commitment is the stuff character is made of; the power to change the face of things. It is the daily triumph of integrity over skepticism. As a reservist we are asked to commit two days a month and an additional 14 days of annual tour a year in service to our country. It's a constant struggle to commit to everything in our lives between family, job and the military and sometimes we have to settle for just being involved and that is OK.

In my 27 years associated with the military I have noticed three types of individuals, those who are committed, those who are involved and those who just show up. The difference between 'involvement' and 'commitment' is like an eggs-and-ham breakfast: the chicken was 'involved' but the pig was 'committed'. The third category is comprised of the folks who just show up. These are the individuals who seem to drift through the day with no real attachment to the organization. They are committed to the reserves by contract only. Everybody knows who these members are; they are the ones who are repeatedly late, consistently head to the dining facility for breakfast after sign-in instead of eating prior, take long lunches and can never be found when it comes to taskings but are always the first to sign-out at the end of the day. Every organization strives to have members who are committed to its goals. It is imperative due to the nature of our business as a member of the Air Force
Reserves that we commit to getting as much out of a UTA weekend as we can.

I would challenge each of you to commit to converting those members in your organization who just show up to be more involved and eventually be committed. I have seen the transition in individuals before and it is remarkable. The change in morale and productivity improves as they move from just showing up, to being involved but it requires interaction from both team members and supervisors. Individuals tend to perform better when there is a sense of belonging and common goals. If you need ideas on how to get your members involved you can contact you Squadron First Sergeant for assistance.

I will leave you with these parting words on commitment from John Adams, "There are only two creatures of value on the face of the earth: those with the commitment, and those who require the commitment of others."