Air Commando of the Month: Self-motivation

USAF: Senior Airman Jette Carr U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Joshua Johnson, 27th Special Operations Support Squadron airfield management, stands on the flightline in front of nearly 1,300 runway lights that he maintains.

By Senior Airman Jette Carr: 27th SOW Public Affairs

Editor’s note: Each month a new airman will be highlighted as Air Commando of the Month. This title will be given by Cannon’s command chief master sergeant to an airman he feels embodies one of Air Force Special Operations Command’s 13 Critical Attributes.

To Chief Master Sgt. Matthew Caruso, 27th Special Operations Wing command chief, self-motivation means doing things for the right reasons. It is staying true to not only the standards with which you were raised, but the Air Force core values as well.

“Don’t try to make the organization or the mission better because you think there will be a reward,” said Caruso. “Do it because you want to transform something and make it better for the organization, the mission and your teammates.”

When airmen are self-motivated for the right reasons, they show themselves as the young leaders who will someday become a great chiefs or wing commanders, said Caruso.

Senior Airman Joshua Johnson, 27th Special Operations Support Squadron airfield management, was chosen by Caruso as the Airman of the Month for March 2012 because of his embodiment of self-motivation, one of Air Force Special Operations Command’s 13 Critical Attributes. Caruso said that during the two years he has known Johnson, this airman has constantly demonstrated this value.

“You got a sense that he wasn’t doing things for an EPR bullet, it was from his heart,” said Caruso.

Johnson’s day-to-day job involves sweeping for Foreign Object Debris, inspecting runway lights and signs to ensure they are serviceable, monitoring crash phones and handing a flow of information that insures other agencies can function properly.

He has gone above and beyond in his career by creating a series of detailed maps with the locations and status of more than 1,300 runway lights. He also single-handedly organized a golf tournament for a squadron fundraiser. Despite rain, 79 people golfed in the tournament, raising more than $3,000. This was the second most successful golf tournament ever held at Cannon.

Johnson previously participated in Dorm Council, was the physical training leader for his flight, and has volunteered for numerous base activities. He even helps out in the local community as a Sunday school teacher and building houses for Habitat for Humanity.

“While in basic training, my TI (military training instructor) asked ‘why do you have so much energy, Johnson?’ I said, ‘Sir, I just want to be the best I can be in everything I do.’ If I’m going to do something I want to do it right. It has my name and reputation on it. That means a lot to me. Whether I’m cleaning out a trash pit or checking a runway for FOD … I’m proud of what I do.”

Johnson said he truly believes in the Air Force core values: Integrity first, service before self and excellence in all you do. He believes that following these values and having a positive attitude make him motivated to succeed.

“If you want to be successful, change your views on the way things are. You can control your thoughts and how you perceive things. A positive outlook can change everything,” he said.