Resistance is futile
By Maj. Tom Hamlyn, 721 Communication Squadron
/ Published May 10, 2018
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
I’ve had the honor and privilege of being a Knight for just over a month. It’s been an exciting month of change: change for me and change for the 721st Communication Squadron. These changes can be lumped into three categories: self-initiated, forced or status quo. However, no matter how change presents itself, it is ultimately about how we respond to (or even embrace) the change in our lives.
I had been looking forward to joining the Mountain Comm team of the 721 CS for months leading up to the assumption of command. It was the excitement of the new opportunity, learning a new mission, and leading a new team.
Many of us joined the military for those exact reasons, even to the point when we’ve been in the job or place for a few years, we naturally get a bit stir crazy and anxious for what’s next. While these changes come courtesy of our Air Force, I consider these self-initiated changes since we all chose to serve. Self-initiated changes are typically ones we look forward to.
For the 721 CS, it has also been a month of change. The Mountain Comm team is adjusting to that new guy in the front office. That new guy brings a new perspective and philosophy. I’ll also go out on a limb and say that the new guy brings his own quirks and idiosyncrasies. Right … that’s me and I’m confident on that last piece. These forced changes can be uneasy; changes that can make us anxious.
Amongst all the change there are also constants, both inherent and by choice. Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, then Commander, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, encouraged a group of new squadron commanders to not change a thing. He explained that, while the new squadron commanders would all be eager to go in to their new squadron and change things to try and make a name for themselves, there is already enough other change in the Air Force. He encouraged them to be a constant in the otherwise changing world around their Airman. For me, these constants are family, faith and friends. For others, it may be routines.
Our lives and our Air Force are in a nearly constant state of change. For the Knights and our wingmen in Air Force Space Command, we continue to transform to dominate the high ground of space. Our adversaries are capable of contesting our national power in space and cyberspace and they are forcing us to change our tactics and deliver capabilities to ensure we’re the predator, not the prey.
This May, the wing will celebrate its 26th birthday. Over the past 26 years, we transitioned from the end of the Cold War to ensuring we are executing global capabilities to defend our homeland and secure space for our nation and its allies. How about in your life? What sort of changes did you initiate? What changes were forced? Where were you a constant for others?
When I was a kid, my dad gave me some great advice that still resonates with me today. He said, you often can’t control what happens to you, but you can control with how you respond. With the changes around or in front us, we can choose to look forward to them, finding the excitement and opportunity the change offers.
In the end, change in and with the military is a guarantee. “Resistance is futile,” as the Borg would say (yes, I know using a Star Trek quote on May the 4th is heresy). So I challenge you with two things. First, choose to respond to change positively and embrace the excitement and opportunity. Second, be a constant in the lives of those around you.