Diamond notes: What we do today affects us tomorrow

U.S. Air Force graphic by 2nd Lt. Stephanie Strine Diamond Notes is a monthly column from the 27th Special Operations Wing’s first sergeants. The first sergeant is the senior enlisted member of a unit and reports directly to the commander as the chief adviser concerning the enlisted force. He or she is responsible for morale, welfare and conduct of all enlisted members in the unit.

By Master Sgt. Stacy Glatt: 27th Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

Editor’s note: Diamond Notes is a monthly column from the 27th Special Operations Wing’s First Sergeants. The First Sergeant is a special leadership position held by senior non-commissioned officers. They report directly to the commander as his or her adviser concerning the enlisted force. He or she is responsible for morale, welfare and conduct of all enlisted members in the unit.

A few weeks ago I went for a run near my home. My normal path includes crossing a heavily-congested intersection. While I was waiting for the traffic signal to turn green, I noticed a man driving a vehicle had a young woman inside who was holding an infant in her lap. The driver was attempting to make a left hand turn and must not have seen the truck coming from the opposite direction. The truck ended up braking hard, skidding and came about two feet from hitting his vehicle on the side where the passenger with the unrestrained infant was sitting.

As I continued my run, I thought about the choices that were made, or should I say not made, by those individuals. We often live for today, not thinking about what we say or do and how it can affect us tomorrow.

The driver was clearly unaware of his surroundings, but his actions would have affected everyone.

As I continued my run, I began thinking about our Air Commandos at Cannon Air Force Base. The majority of our airmen do extraordinary things daily in accomplishing the mission and setting goals to ensure a bright future for themselves and their families.

They understand the power and responsibility they have with the choices they make and how it can potentially affect the people and the mission around them. At times however, our vast accomplishments are tainted by poor decisions made by a few.

The poor choices being made by these few often begin with negative thinking and ultimately result in a trail of negative behavior. Effective supervision and leadership play a key role in redirecting a person’s poor choices, but in the end it’s up to the individual to be an effective member of the force.

It’s unfortunate that some make poor and selfish decisions without realizing the damage they are causing everyone around them. However, this is not a one-mistake Air Force and usually people can recover.

Often, Air Commandos are reluctant to accept the consequences given. They may even fail to learn from certain situations. Everyone has the ability to choose their own behavior, but not everyone has the ability to choose the consequences that befall them.

Realize that every choice you make isn’t just a choice for today; it’s also a choice for tomorrow, and all of our actions have consequences, not only to ourselves but to those around us.

No one can change the past, but we, as individuals, can choose to change the future. Be proud of who you are and what you will become. Be willing to learn from your mistakes, think ahead and, most importantly, think about tomorrow.

As motivator Ralph Marston said, “The things you do today affect not only today, they build and prepare you and position you for all the days that will come.”