Tag Archives: culture

One big Air Force

By Tech. Sgt. Anthony Nelson Jr.
Air Force Social Media

It’s not a foreign principle in the Air Force to understand that we participate, train, educate and support one another as fellow Airmen. In my opinion, it’s truly part of what makes us the world’s greatest Air Force.

But what does that really look like?

Over the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to work side-by-side with members of the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard. I’ve seen firsthand that there isn’t any difference in our performance, standards and expectations for one another as Total Force Airmen. I’m glad to be a part of a truly diverse organization where it’s really important to embody all aspects of the organization to grow and become better in the future.

“We are absolutely committed to creating a fully integrated operationally relevant and capable total force,” said Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, Air Force chief of staff. “One Air Force.”

During my deployments to the Middle East, I’ve had the privilege to really learn from my Guard and Reserve brothers and sisters in the Air Force. I learned that they carried pride in the uniform and their respective component. What drew them to the Air National Guard or Reserve was the same thing that drew me — wanting to serve my country in an honorable way. Not only did I work with them, but I also lived with them in a deployed environment.

When we worked long days and nights pulling security detail on the flight line or providing input about current operations to our leadership, we realized that in order for unit cohesion and morale to improve it would be imperative for us to address the issues that stood in front of us.

We talked about our different experiences and jobs in the Air Force. We shared old war stories while at our current war. The conversation became a bridge that would allow us to discover the root of our issues with one another. Simply, I had brought my negative bias and stereotypes about Guardsmen and Reservists into this environment. Those thoughts didn’t help bring us together faster but became a barrier for me personally.

One conversation led me to discover that I had a misconception of what the other parts of the Air Force did. I admitted to my fellow Airmen that I assumed I knew their mission and vision.

“We are held to AFIs and regulations just like Active Duty,” said Air National Guard Tech Sgt. Charlette Castro.

We are all Airmen, and it’s our duty to incorporate the institutional competencies of the Air Force. We also need to remember that our responsibility to brothers and sisters in the profession of arms isn’t segregated to active duty only. It encompasses the Total Force.

I’m glad to be part of a truly diverse organization where it’s really important to embody all aspects of the organization in order to grow and become better.


My stay in the land of the rising sun

By Senior Airman Soo Kim
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

For as long as I can remember, I’ve dreamed of a life in Tokyo, Japan. I had a crazy fascination with the island country to the Far East: the people, food, culture and most importantly, visiting all the historical monuments and landmarks.

So when I completed my first assignment dream sheet for the Air Force, I left all the sections completely blank besides my number one choice: Yokota Air Base, Japan.

Continue reading My stay in the land of the rising sun

Everyone must do their part

By Staff Sgt. Antonio Gonzalez
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

One in three women are sexually assaulted over their lifetime, and I have a problem with that statistic. In my world, it’s three out of three: my mother, my sister and my wife.

Earlier in January, I attended the first-ever Sexual Assault Prevention Summit as one of 150 active-duty, reserve, guard and civilian Airmen from all ranks and demographics. The very first thing we were asked was: “How many of you know someone who has been sexually assaulted?” Almost all 150 hands raised in unison. Continue reading Everyone must do their part

10 phrases Airmen say

By Capt. Victoria Hight
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

Everywhere you go, people use words and phrases that give away their origins. Those from the South may insist “ya’ll” is a legitimate contraction (which it is!). Midwesterners tend to refer to their favorite bubbly drink as pop, rather than soda. A dear friend of mine from Minnesota sneaks a very Canadian-sounding “eh?” at the end of her sentences.

The military is well-known for its distinctive jargon and unique phrases. Here’s our list of the top 10 military phrases we’ve heard you use on and off base.

1. Standby


This standby phrase (see what we did there?) originated from the old days of radio correspondence. It most often means “pause for the next transmission.” It’s also used frequently in phone conversations to put the other person on hold.

2. Voluntold and mandatory fun


A combination of the words volunteer + told = a phrase many in the military can relate to. Most of the time you are voluntold to attend mandatory fun. In everyday lingo, these phrases make their appearance during discussion of events you aren’t looking forward to attending. Continue reading 10 phrases Airmen say

You know you’re in the AF when…v4

By 1st Lt Tori Hight
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

The Air Force isn’t just a job to most Airmen…it’s a way of life. It’s engrained in you from day 1 of Basic Military Training and throughout the years of your career even as it fades, gets “reblued,” and sometimes wears thin — it never dies. This lifestyle means habits and quirks that made sense to others in the military will follow you throughout your life on the outside — where those same habits probably earn you a strange stare or two from the average passerby. So, let’s celebrate those quirks and habits with our fourth installment of: You know you’re in the AF when…

1) Your young children approach strangers in uniform and call them “Mommy” or “Daddy”


PHOTO: Chances are every single kid in this room called him Daddy when he walked in. Seriously, have you ever been to the child development center in uniform? It’s like an angry mob…

2) You make your bed at home with perfect hospital corners

Academy cadets stand by for a room inspection.

PHOTO: Because if you don’t make your bed with perfect hospital corners – people will die!

3) You have at least one pet with a military-related name

A retired military working dog makes himself at home.

PHOTO: Bonus points if the pet actually served in the military as well.

4) Saying sir or ma’am is automatic

A basic cadet at the Air Force Academy receives a verbal reprimand.

PHOTO: Just don’t confuse the two. You can only do so many “Ma’am you are a ma’am, not a sir, ma’am” pushups.

5) You always have a pen on you

Air Force Form 341

PHOTO: How else can you fill out your Form 341?

6) You aren’t sure what to wear to a business casual function
Air Force officers show off their 'party shirts'.

PHOTO: Party shirts anyone?

7) When the Internet is down, no one can work

An Airman inspects a computer motherboard.

PHOTO: Now…which button was it?

8) You can’t bring yourself to walk across the grass…ever

An Airman tees off on a golf course.
PHOTO: Except this grass…this is OK.

9) Your whole table orders water to drink at lunch

Airman pours water on his head to cool down.

PHOTO: Just don’t be like this guy in a restaurant. Wait staff won’t appreciate cleaning this up.

10) Ladies: you get your hair cut when you are home on leave visiting family because you can’t find anyone good near your base

Military member dontaes hair to charity.

PHOTO: Just a few inches off the bottom please…

In case this list didn’t seem complete to you, check out our first, second, and third versions. What’s your favorite military habit or quirk?