Keeping priorities and values in check through 'FAMILY'

  • Published
  • By Maj. Peter Wojihowski
  • 94th Aircraft Maintenance Flight commander
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!!! Those who know me well know that I am not one to mince words on leadership, as there are so many styles and great leaders in the Air Force and the world today.

Every now and then you come across a commentary that is EXACTLY in line with your vision and expectations as a leader. This is one of them. Have a joyous holiday and remember to be safe. See you next year!

Taken from Col. Jim Vechery, 60th Air Mobility Wing commander on July 17, 2009

Family is very important to me and I think it is good for you to know some key aspects about what drives me.

Throughout the years, I have put a great deal of thought into my priorities and values. They are best summed up in the word FAMILY. The first three letters in the word FAMILY describe my top three priorities and the last three letters describe things I value. This word means a great deal to me because I consider family the cornerstone of our

'F' stands for faith.
My first priority is God. I am a Christian and have a strong belief in God and his presence in my life. I try to live my life every day in a manner pleasing to Him. I will fall short, but I will keep trying. We are very fortunate to live in a country where we are free to practice religion and it is important for you to know what guides me.

'A' stands for affection.
My second priority is my family. This priority is my loved ones, which extends from my immediate family to my friends, co-workers and wing partners. I place a high value on the people around me because people are what matter most. The Dobbins family is now our family!

'M' stands for military.
You might be initially surprised I ranked this third on my priority list, but I discovered many years ago if my first two priorities were not in check, my military effectiveness was diminished. The military is a calling and a way of life, but faith and family are my life.

Now let me turn to the three things I value.

'I' stands for integrity.
I believe this to be a cornerstone of one's character. Simply put, integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is looking. Society looks at the military with an elevated sense of respect and admiration.

With this respect comes responsibility to live to a higher standard. This is what makes us professional Airmen and I am proud to serve alongside you.

'L' stands for loyalty.
I believe loyalty means total support, but it does not mean being a yes-person or just
upward-directed loyalty. It is important to exhibit loyalty in all directions, vertically and horizontally. We need to trust one another and loyalty is a key ingredient. In our daily pursuits, we need to be loyal to each other and the cause of freedom. As our Airman's Creed states,

"I am an American Airman:

Wingman, Leader, Warrior.

I will never leave an Airman behind.

I will never falter.

And I will not fail!" 

' Y' stands for you.
I appreciate each and every one of you and I greatly value your selfless service. Thank
you for what you do each and every day to serve our country. Day in and day out, you make the U.S. flourish as the world's only super power.

The one thing that makes the Air Force a wonderful career is the people we get to serve with. As your commander, I will do everything in my power to ensure you are properly cared for because I have a fundamental belief if I take care of you, you will take care of the mission.