Little Brown Book still shows enlisted path

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Ronald Ridge Jr.
  • 336th Training Support Squadron first sergeant
Over the years we have seen many changes in the enlisted force. We have gone from over a million strong to an agile smaller force, able to deploy anywhere, anytime.

Even with the total force structure changes that have occurred, one thing has remained relatively the same - the enlisted force structure. AFI 36-2618, The Enlisted Force Structure, or the Little Brown Book has laid out the standards, duties and responsibilities for each enlisted tier for decades. The words that are printed within its pages have paved the foundation for our future enlisted leaders and for those that will follow.

The importance of the book couldn't be more apparent than now. Our force is deploying at an increasing rate all over the world. Our duties both at home and abroad have become more difficult with the deployments and force shaping. We become more focused on completing our individual duties rather than on the big picture and we tend to forget our basic duties and responsibilities as an enlisted force. It's at this point that we have to take a step back and remember what we swore to do.

Our Air Force needs us to uphold the duties and responsibilities contained in the Little Brown Book. Providing the guidance and mentorship to our young force is essential to all of our success. The strong words of encouragement help each one of us push forward to succeed in ways we would never dreamed of. The use of discipline to correct behavior is essential to bring us back to the path once we've fallen off. These are the responsibilities of every one of us who wear the uniform of the United States Air Force. So if things are getting a little hectic due to the high tempo, take a little time to sit back and read through the pages of that little book. It will help remind us of who we are and what we do.