The three A's of a successful Airman

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Kevin Brummert
  • 55th Comptroller Squadron commander
There are three A's that I see as defining the success an individual can achieve in the United States Air Force.

The first A represents the attitude of our Airmen that perform the day-to-day mission. The attitude an Airman carries provides the foundation for the belief that anything is possible in the service of the great country that we support and defend. The remarkable part of this perspective is that every Airman chooses the attitude that he or she wants to embrace.

Attitude is often seen as how an individual reacts to what life presents. An individual's attitude is a decision about how they are going approach their Air Force day.

An attitude also shows through in the willingness to do daily tasks, particularly the seemingly meaningless tasks. These can range from properly shredding classified documents to the calibration and tightening of aircraft bolts on the flightline. Both tasks are equally important and contribute to the Air Force's ability to place bombs on target anywhere in the world at any time.

One's attitude is also seen in the ability to work with others to achieve a common goal. A good attitude can lead to synergy, cultivated by teamwork. This concentrated effort often leads to better results than individuals working on tasks separately. This was seen in our recent unit compliance inspection, when the 55th Wing received one of its best UCI scores.

It is often said that attitude determines altitude. In the Air Force, our need for high altitudes requires equally good attitudes to achieve mission success.

The second A in defining success is accountability. Accountability is often defined as the willingness to take responsibility for an end result, whether it is an action taken, a task completed, or a mission accomplished. Accountability provides a sense of ownership to ensure that someone has a vested interest in an end product.

However, it does not end here. Accountability also encompasses what an individual does not do. Without accountability, there is no self-control mechanism to ensure that the right actions get done within a desired timeframe.

By being accountable and aware of one's actions, there is a sense of trust created among individuals. The trust built by accountability provides a means through which a person's character is defined and a foundation is laid for leadership at all levels within the Air Force. This trust and leadership through accountability provides a basis for achieving success.

The third A in defining success is accomplishments. Accomplishments can be thought of as a catalyst that ignites the drive and motivation of an individual to perform at that higher level. By working towards achieving an accomplishment, an individual is setting a navigational compass that provides a direction and a path.

If individuals fail to set a goal, they would aimlessly make decisions and head in random directions without knowing how they will ultimately end their Air Force journey.

Airmen that possess good attitudes, have accountability, and reach their desired accomplishments are likely to be on a path for a successful career. These attributes are not all-encompassing, but in my opinion are the key areas that can lead an Airman to success in our Air Force.