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Team Hickam Adminstrative Assistants’ Week essay award winner: Airmen strive to shape IM’s future

HICKAM AIR FORCE BASE, Hawaii -- Throughout the evolution of the Administrative Specialist/Information Management career field lifecycle, malleability and drive have become mainstays to our survivability. With dramatic personnel cuts being experienced across the military, the Information Managers of today and tomorrow must once again reaffirm our importance while simultaneously adapting to the uncertainty of career field restructuring. 

While an endless stream of clichés appears to be the order of the day, by "doing more with less, leading the way, and our future is what we make of it" we face uncertainties that evoke anxiety, fear and apprehension. It is of grave importance that when we look toward our future and continue to shape the force structure of tomorrow, that we allow a "total warrior" mindset to be the tip of the spear. 

Becoming dynamic leaders earlier than typically warranted, opening ourselves up to more forward-thinking concepts, and having a true understanding of sacrifice will help to propel IM'ers into tomorrow, solidifying our place in the Air Force of the future. 

Our greatest ally will be our professionalism, ushering in new responsibilities, new technologies, and new philosophies. Our advancement will come about via dramatic paradigm shifts that must be created by our own hands. As the individual shapes their own life structure, the IM community as a collective must be the architect of the way we conduct business for tomorrow. 

We are the silent element that can easily go unnoticed, but when called upon; our talents and abilities are the very backbone of mission accomplishment. One doesn't have to look very far to see how our numbers are diminishing across the military. 

As a nation, we are fighting more efficiently and responding to world crises more rapidly than ever before. And while we have the greatest Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen in the world on the front lines, it's critical to note that without an IMer to traffic information, administer to communication systems and disperse knowledge to decision-making entities, the fight will stall.

As we set out on the journey of tomorrow, go well equipped. Your dress and appearance will be immaculate; your military bearing will be beyond reproach; your education will be second to none; and your physical readiness will be emulated by all. We must be the epitome of the complete "Airman" concept if we are to play a vital role within the next-generation Air Force. The shape (mental and physical) of the individual is paramount in the shaping of the future of Information Management.

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