What are 'Your Three Words?'

  • Published
  • By Col. Barbara King
  • 18th Medical Group commander
Have you watched ABC News Good Morning America video segment entitled "Your Three Words?"

From military spouses and their children saying "I Miss You" to their loved ones in Iraq and Afghanistan, or the young couple celebrating with the sign "Having a Baby," the videos have been expressions of life and hope.

That made me piece together three-word expressions I want to live by as a productive member of society and an Airman of the 18th Wing.

I hope you agree with some of the following and it stimulates you to come up with some of your own.

HAVE A COMPASS: An internal one, that is. You must figure out what your priorities are and always go "Back to Basics." Develop your spiritual side, establish an on-going relationship with God. Develop your physical side, be fit to fight, not just for the fitness test, but as a way to conduct your life and health. Develop your personal side, to have a friend, you must be one. We spend time with those we care about. Finally, develop your professional side. The Air Force profession not only lets you obtain in-depth knowledge in your AFSC, but also gives opportunities outside the realm of your job description. A good rule for growth--stay out of your comfort zone at least 10 percent of the time!

EMAIL TRAVELS FAR: Email is a great tool, but there are some down sides. Be careful what you write (especially in anger) before pushing the send button. What you may intend for one person's viewing can and will easily be spread to many other people. You can't retrieve them and your reputation may be attached to it.

SAVE FOR RETIREMENT: Having access to the Thrift Savings Plan provides Airmen an easy way to begin saving. Don't wait until you are older! Determine an allotment to come out of your paycheck before you see it, because once it is in your pocket, it probably won't go back to the bank.

SHARE YOUR WEALTH: That can be with life's experiences through mentoring, or financially. It feels good to be able to care and help someone through giving to your local church, United Way, or Air Force Assistance Fund. Where do your interests lie?

LISTEN BEFORE SPEAKING: This is difficult to do because we want to be heard ourselves. The best ideas can come from the Airmen doing the task. Be willing to listen and learn.

AIR FORCE MEMORIAL: The three spires of the Air Force Memorial in Washington, DC are awe-inspiring. The Memorial itself is 280 feet high and appears to be soaring, its array of stainless steel arcs against the sky evokes the image of contrails of the Air Force Thunderbirds as they peel back in a precision "bomb burst" maneuver. Only three of the four contrails are depicted, as the absent fourth evokes the "Missing Man" formation traditionally used at Air Force funeral fly-overs. I love that memorial! Seeing it makes me so proud to be an American wearing this uniform.

BE A WINGMAN: Trust your intuition. If something doesn't seem right with someone, you know what? It probably isn't. There is never a down side to getting to know more about people. Look out for one another.

CLEAR CONSPICUOUS COMPLIANCE: Our 18th Wing Commander Brig. Gen. Matt Molloy says it well. Exhibiting this culture of compliance helps us be disciplined with checklists, use standard processes, set the bar for performance in our organizations, and prepares us to FIGHT, and to WIN!

CULTURE OF HEALTH: I end on this note because I care. Unhealthy behaviors are medically expensive due to their 2nd and 3rd order effects; obesity, poor eating habits, lack of exercise, smoking. I will give you the "High 5" dashboard of physical health! You score a 100 if.....
  1. Body Mass Index <25           (indicator for obesity)
  2. Fasting Glucose <100         (indicator for diabetes)
  3. Cholesterol <200                  (indicator for hyperlipidemia)
  4. Blood Pressure 120/80       (indicator of hypertension)
  5. Tobacco use--NO
Decide to care about your "medical portfolio" so you can live long to enjoy your "financial portfolio."