Why I wear the uniform

Base Info
The First Term Airman’s Center is a week-long orientation hosted for all new Airmen arriving from technical training at Misawa Air Base, Japan. FTAC provides these Airmen with tools and information needed to kick start their Air Force careers. As a part of this class, Misawa Airmen write an essay titled “Why I Wear the Uniform,” one of which is then chosen and published. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Jordyn Rucker)
The First Term Airman’s Center is a week-long orientation hosted for all new Airmen arriving from technical training at Misawa Air Base, Japan. FTAC provides these Airmen with tools and information needed to kick start their Air Force careers. As a part of this class, Misawa Airmen write an essay titled “Why I Wear the Uniform,” one of which is then chosen and published. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Jordyn Rucker)

Why I wear the uniform

by: Airman 1st Class Ryan Colby, 14th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron avionic specialist | .
Misawa Air Base | .
published: November 22, 2014

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- You can tell a lot about a person by looking at just their shoes. Some people wear the newest style or limited edition. Others just simply wear what they can afford or manage to get by with.

My shoes are green, with heavy grease and oil stains, but not from carelessness or not paying attention to detail -- actually, quite the opposite. It's from my passion of working on the F-16 Fighting Falcon, from being more focused on my job of putting warheads on foreheads.

These boots I wear are not as limited edition as my enemy may hope they are. Many Airmen like me wear them on a daily basis, believing in the same cause as I do. Some boots may be more soiled, torn and worn down than others.

I can't speak for each Airman on their reason for tying their boot laces each morning and tucking them in before leaving the dorms, home, or tents in a faraway, distant place they never imagined they'd be. They all have their own reasons, beliefs and opinions. I do the double loop and pull every morning because I made an oath to my country and gave my word to perform my job to the best of my ability, while following the orders of those appointed over me.

Why I took the oath doesn't matter. I could say all these things like I needed a job, had to get out of a bad city or I have no family. Either way I swore it and gave my word, and a wise man once told me, "A man is only as good as his word. If his word means nothing, then so does that man."

That is why I wear my green boots, to keep my word as a man and Airman.

Tags: Misawa Air Bae, Base Info
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