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Let us sing

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Lauren Pitts
  • Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Public Affairs
Every morning in basic training we would recite the Airman's Creed and the Air Force song.

It always gave me chills.

Standing with my flight, my wingmen, we would cry out the verses - our voices echoing off the drill pad walls. It was our motivation to get through another day of training. We were unified and banded together by where we were, and who we were becoming: American Airmen.

In technical school, I was fortunate enough to study in a joint environment. All the branches would march to the school house, pouring their souls into their cadences; whoever could scream the loudest was the proudest.

I knew the U.S. military was the greatest team in the world and I couldn't wait to be active duty. When I got to my first duty station, something changed.

The Airman's Creed and the Air Force song didn't exist.

As a photojournalist, I was covering my first retirement; a traditional ceremony that concludes with the "singing" of the Air Force song.

But this time, I didn't get chills.

I felt awkward. No one was singing. It was a muffled whisper contradicting the "loud and proud" lyrics of the song.

Unfortunately, it was a trend. Every retirement, every ceremony, every all-call, resulted in the uninspired rendition of our service's anthem. After arriving at my second duty location, a joint base, I was really able to see the stark contrast between the services' espirit de corps.

During an awards ceremony, hundreds of Airmen filed into the base theater, along with a handful of our Navy counterparts. As usual, our unit chant and the song lacked heart. But then the Sailors stood up, and recited their creed.

And I got chills.

These 12 Sailors were able to out-do several times their number of Airmen. Their booming voices filled the theater, drowning us out.

How can we claim to be warriors when our battle cries fall short? We may not be the oldest branch, but our Air Force was born during a peak of national pride and patriotism. If we really are faithful to our proud heritage, let our voices reflect that.

So now, I'm turning to the Big A: from our highest commanders to the newest pipeliner. Regardless of our rank, we are all a part of the greatest Air Force on Earth. Let's put meaning back into what that means, and rejuvenate our pride.

We all know the words, so let us sing. 

Give me chills.