Uniform of the Day


  The other day I was in Wal-Mart. (I know, big surprise)  While I was at the register aafbdu-main_full gentleman came up behind me and asked if I was in the military.  I said yes and then asked him why he asked.  I expected him to point out my haircut or freshly shaved face.  But instead he said, “You stand like a military person.”  My first thought was, “Huh?”  I know, pretty profound.  I said goodbye and was on my way.  Later I asked my wife if I stood like I’m in the military.  Her response, “For the first day you are home you do but by Sunday you are back to normal.”  I asked her to clarify.  She said I stood straighter for the first day or so, with my shoulders back and my chest out.  (A little background- I am in the Florida Air National Guard and I am doing temp Active Duty.  I only get to see my wife and kids every other weekend, I live in a hotel room 5 hours away the rest of the time.)

  This got me to thinking.  I wear the my uniform for two weeks and then I take it off to come home.  But even with it off I am still in that mindset for a day or so.  In uniform I am representing my unit and my branch of the military and by extension the United States of America.  I am proud to wear a soldiers uniform.  I stand for something.  I stand for the core values of the US Air Force

Integrity First,

Service Before Self,

Excellence in All We Do.

And here is the Airmen’s Creed

The Airman’s Creed

This is the Airman’s promise to country and colleagues.

I AM AN AMERICAN AIRMAN.
I AM A WARRIOR.
I HAVE ANSWERED MY NATION’S CALL.

I AM AN AMERICAN AIRMAN.
MY MISSION IS TO FLY, FIGHT, AND WIN.
I AM FAITHFUL TO A PROUD HERITAGE,
A TRADITION OF HONOR,
AND A LEGACY OF VALOR.

I AM AN AMERICAN AIRMAN,
GUARDIAN OF FREEDOM AND JUSTICE,
MY NATION’S SWORD AND SHIELD,
ITS SENTRY AND AVENGER.
I DEFEND MY COUNTRY WITH MY LIFE.

I AM AN AMERICAN AIRMAN:
WINGMAN, LEADER, WARRIOR.
I WILL NEVER LEAVE AN AIRMAN BEHIND,
I WILL NEVER FALTER,
AND I WILL NOT FAIL.

  These are the beliefs and ideals I stand upon while in uniform.  But they have permeated me to the point to where even when I am not in uniform I still hold myself to these values and this creed.  I still walk, talk, and stand military, at least for a few days.  Then I begin to slouch.  Maybe I don’t say “Sir” or “Ma’am” as much.  Maybe I am not as respectful as I should be.  The effect wears off.

  As a Christ-Follower we also have a uniform.  Only the Bible calls it the Armor of God.

10Finally, let the mighty strength of the Lord make you strong. 11Put on all the armor that God gives, so you can defend yourself against the devil’s tricks. 12We are not fighting against humans. We FullArmorare fighting against forces and authorities and against rulers of darkness and powers in the spiritual world. 13So put on all the armor that God gives. Then when that evil day comes, you will be able to defend yourself. And when the battle is over, you will still be standing firm. 14Be ready! Let the truth be like a belt around your waist, and let God’s justice protect you like armor. 15Your desire to tell the good news about peace should be like shoes on your feet. 16Let your faith be like a shield, and you will be able to stop all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Let God’s saving power be like a helmet, and for a sword use God’s message that comes from the Spirit.

18Never stop praying, especially for others. Always pray by the power of the Spirit. Stay alert and keep praying for God’s people.   Ephesians 6:10-18  (Contemporary English Version)

  And like a soldier, the more you wear your spiritual armor the more you act like the core values and the creed of who you represent.  In this case, Jesus.  The armor is symbolic obviously.  I mean, you’d look pretty ridiculous going to a board meeting with a metal helmet, breastplate, shield and large sword instead of a suit on.  It’s the meaning behind each object that is what matters.  Over the next few days we will be looking at each piece and what it actually is referring to.

  The problem with armor though is that it can be taken off and just like how my military bearing began to fade after a few days so to will your Godly Bearing.  It is important to “put on” your armor daily.

Remember- A naked warrior is a dead warrior.

 

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Verse of the Day

2 Thessalonians 3:3“But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.”
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5 Responses

  1. When I was the manager at a store here in town a man came in one day that I had never seen before. I asked him right away if he was a police officer he said “what makes you ask that?”
    I said because my husband was a police officer and I recognize it. He told me that he was a police officer and he couldn’t believe that I knew that just by watching him. I told him that he stood and talked like a police officer. I totally relate to this!
    It is definitely true that when you wear a uniform and represent a certain thing, whatever that may be, it becomes second nature to you and you are in that “mode” all the time without even thinking about it.
    That is exactly how it should be when you put on your Christian armor, but for some reason, for most anyway, this is not an easy task. It takes a lot of work for Christians to have their armor on enough to make it second nature. I know that I for one have a long way to go!!!

    Very good analogy, Shawn!

  2. Hey Lea,
    Thanks for taking the time to comment. We all have a long way to go. I know it seems like I am always missing a piece or two. Stay tuned for the next post. It will be a little more detailed on the individual pieces and how they work practically as well as Spiritually.

    Shawn

  3. […] Uniform of the Day […]

  4. Shawn,
    I ran into this webpage in my research for a speech for my upcoming retirement. My basis: Ephesians 6:10, 19. I wanted to highlight training, the “Armor” of God, a shield and sword. The “sword and shield” is highlighted in our Airman’s Creed, so it led me to want highlight this. It’s been in my heart to share this topic on my speech, and low behold, you have similar perspective. I have a similar picture I will have tattoed as my retirement gift, funny that picture posted here alot alike with the one I have. There’s other similarities… Anyway, I will facebook you, take a look at my page and not think I’m some weird dude. Take, MSgt Borca

  5. I know what they are talking about. I come from a military family. My dad and brother were in the Army and I have a cousin who is a Marine. I can spot a military man easily. Even if they are out of uniform, with hair a little grown out. Every man I have ever known in (Or out) the military carries himself the same way. Tall, proud, strong, confident, purposeful. A man who can get the job done and take care of business. A man who will face the wolf and protect the sheep, in uniform or out of it.

    I can even tell the difference between an ex-military cop and a cop who has never been in the military. Simply put, they stand, walk, talk and look…different. Sometimes I will even be able to distinguish between a honorably and dishonorably discharged ex military man. Even then, they carry themselves in a different manor…one who still respects the institution and in their heart, always will, and one who maybe, in their heart, never really did. They joined, or were drafted, for the wrong reasons, and it shows in their military record and their attitude after the military.

    Several years ago, a man walked into the gas station I worked at, and I could tell by his haircut he was military, but more than that I knew, KNEW he was a Marine, because of his countenance and his eyes. So I greeted him as a Marine. He had never been in the store before, or seen me before. So he was shocked. He asked, HOW DID YOU KNOW? I told him…”You walk like any proud soldier, but in your heart and soul, you are a Marine. I can see it in your eyes.”

    There was another time, I spotted a Navy SEAL…who was dressed as an average guy, but I was doing research for a book, so I went up and talked to him. I introduced myself, and asked his name. Then I said, “If you don’t mind, can I talk to you about your training as a SEAL and when you were on missions?” He was SO SHOCKED! He told me he didn’t like talking about his past, and he wasn’t allowed to say some things. I told him I understood, and we chatted a bit. He shared a few basic things with me. But he was surprised I knew just by looking at him. I guess not even some of his friends knew about his past in the military.

    So, I may be a bit more observant than the average person…but I can sometimes even tell which BRANCH of the military a man or woman is in.

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