No one comes close?

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- So there I was, or really, there it was ... the statement, "Just because we say we are the world's greatest Air Force, does not mean that we are." That was the first time I heard anyone say that before and my first thought was, "This person has a lot of guts!"

Then I thought about the statement some more and I started to agree. I don't know anything about other Air Forces around the world, so how could I even compare? What was the basis of us being able to say we are the world's greatest Air Force? The only answer I could come up with was, "Because we said so."

So I finished the day agreeing with the statement, but afterwards, things I never paid much attention to before, began to change my mind.

A month-or-so later, I was at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, for a two-week training course. I learned for the first time about multiple pre-position locations all around the world (including those on boats) where the U.S. Air Force stores equipment and munitions. As I sat in class impressed by this information, I thought to myself, "Maybe this is why we are the world's greatest Air Force."

Later, I was sitting in a maintenance group meeting where captains were explaining to colonels why they broke an error rate of three percent and one percent. Three and one percent error rates! That is near perfect and I don't care what anyone says -- no one is perfect. I have been in these meetings before and have heard these rates, but this time it hit me. Maybe this is why we are the world's greatest Air Force.

But then as I watched the Airmen in my flight volunteer to work weekends to help fix engines or work 10-12 hours a day, sometimes to the point where you have to kick them out, I thought to myself, "They are the reason we are the world's greatest Air Force."

These are only a few examples, but I am amazed how one comment months ago has changed my perspective on the things I do every day.

There were times I thought some tasks too minuscule or some questions from supervision were too "in the weeds" and to be honest, I sometimes still feel the same way. But I take comfort and pride in the fact that these few examples are what make us the world's greatest Air Force.