Deeds not words make 'quiet professionals'

Commentary by Maj. Peter Abercrombie 60th Aerial Port Squadron Commander

Commentary by Maj. Peter Abercrombie 60th Aerial Port Squadron Commander

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- As I was preparing for my assumption of command of the 60th Aerial Port Squadron, I was learning as much as I could about the squadron. One thing I immediately looked at was our squadron patch, because I wanted to see the emblem that represents the squadron to the rest of the Air Force. Directly above our squadron patch is our squadron motto, "Deeds not Words." This motto struck me and I think it may be more relevant today than when it was originally placed on the patch.

I think the growth of social media has played a huge role in placing importance on the "words" part of the motto and not the "deeds." In today's world, everyone is connected. We all have social media accounts like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram where everyone can voice their opinions. In many ways, social media and the continuous news cycle has allowed individuals to become all about the hype. I think of the political figure that goes out and promises everyone the moon if elected in to office, but they never deliver on their promises. I think of the athletes who talk smack about their opponents, yet fail to deliver once on the field.

This is not who we are in the 60th APS or in the Air Force. I see us as the "quiet professionals." We have a mission to perform and a customer to support and we excel at it day in and day out. Whether it is moving critical cargo for humanitarian relief, providing lavatory services at the aircraft, taking care of an individual's household goods movement or ensuring passengers are safely loaded on and off of aircraft, we ensure the job is done right the first time. Often, our customers do not even know the amount of effort needed to get the job done, and that is how we prefer it. We are all about the deeds, and seldom about the words.

There was an auto insurance commercial a couple of years ago where a good deed observed by a third party propagated more and more good deeds. The good deeds we do every day here at Travis Air Force Base have the same effect both locally and globally. Whether nursing an individual back to health so they can be a productive member of our community or airdropping supplies to refugees, the deeds we do are multiplied continuously. The Travis tail flash on our aircraft and the Air Force name tape on our uniforms mean something to others. To those in need, in means help is on the way and the deeds we perform will provide hope, care and relief. We are the quiet professionals who make the world a better place without the hype.

My charge to you: Be an Airman of action. Let your deeds speak for you. Be the quiet professional whose actions are louder than words.