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The Winds of Change

Commander's Comments - Col. Timothy Estep

Commander's Comments - Col. Timothy Estep

OTIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mass. --

Do you hear that? It's the Winds of Change ...  

I'm borrowing that line from Monsters Inc. , and other movies, because we are faced with yet another mission change here at old Otis Air National Guard Base.  

With the recent announcements of the "divesting", a bureaucratic word for cutting, of the 267th Combat Communications Squadron (CBCS) and the 102d Air Operations Group (AOG), the near term horizon is once again filled with uncertainty.  

This is obviously an issue of immediate concern for the folks in the AOG and CBCS; however, everyone reading this will, at some point, be faced with a similar professional or personal challenge... a new job, a new house, a long-distance move - you name it.  

My personal recommendation for dealing with all this is to take the "long-view" approach. That's another way of saying; don't miss the forest for the trees. To put that into even more concrete terms, ask yourself how this, or any other challenge you may be facing, will affect you at some key points in your future. I recommend looking as far as 20 years ahead, then 5 years, and finally, one year from now.  

For a job change, I'm thinking your outlook assessment might shake out something like this:  

In 20 years, this change will have almost zero impact. You will still, most likely, be retired from the military, doing something else, and living who knows where... hopefully near a warm beach. You'll be relying on your faith, family and friends - not your Air Force Specialty Code from many years ago.  

In 5 years, you'll still be sitting at the same desk and looking at the same computer screen - just with different "stuff" on the screen.  

That just leaves the one-year look ahead. That one will most likely be different. Instead of showing up for work with the same routine you have now, you may be off to another base, with lots of people in your same situation, learning a new trade. It may not be exactly what you had planned, but that's part of the deal when we signed up. Very few of us signed up to be in "xx" unit, doing exactly "xx", forever. Here's the important part, after you get the scrunchy-face thinking about the potential thrash over the next year or so, go back and remind yourself of the 20-year view... you remember, the one with almost no change.  

If the "long-view" approach doesn't cut it for you, I might recommend some sports analogies.  

For you gophers (golfers), you know that you don't line up a long putt by just analyzing the first couple feet. You have to look at the whole green and stick to the basics of your swing; then, trust yourself and the old billy baroo (Caddyshack reference).  

For the fishermen, you also know that your old fishing hole doesn't always pan out .. occasionally you catch the big one after you move the boat.   I'll stop with the analogies, but here's the bottom line - change is going to happen... at work, at home, everywhere. It's how you respond to it that matters. When it comes to any new mission, whether it's a Cyber mission or anything else, you can be a one or a zero - be a one.