How to be successful in and out of the military

A good attitude will go a long way in opening up opportunities and ingratiating your self to the community

How to be successful in and out of the military

Virginia National Guard Soldiers along with troops from six other states officially begin their federal active duty cyber mission as Task Force Echo with a transfer of authority ceremony Aug. 15, 2017, at Fort Meade, Maryland. (U.S. National Guard photo by Cotton Puryear)

By SFC Russel Shaw

On many a deployment, I remember so many times hearing the worst about a new assignment that wasn't true. Let me recommend having a great attitude about each deployment. Everywhere you go has its ups and downs. If all you hear is the downs, you have a bad attitude about your new duty station before you even get there. 

I have not been anywhere that I did not enjoy. Opportunities come to those who get out and meet the people of your community. Our military family is very important but when we segregate ourselves from the community we create barriers. People in the community hear about the military when there is a brawl at the bar or the drunk driver that was in an accident downtown.

Get out and show the community the military person who volunteers at the Red Cross, helps the Salvation Army, or who helps on weekends with Habitat for Humanity. Do not keep yourself bottled up.

As a young soldier, I very seldom went downtown except in the evenings to go to the bar. We need to learn how to connect with others outside of our military family. When I started going to church, I started doing more in the community. You do not have to join a church to get involved with the community. That is what I did, and it is one of the greatest steps that helped me see beyond the military personnel I associated with.

Your attitude before you show up to your new duty station is very important. It will affect the outcome you have from that new deployment. When you show up, come excited about the new opportunities you will find in this place. That attitude will actually create even more opportunity for you.

1. Have a good attitude

When you have a winner's attitude, others want to come alongside you. A good attitude draws others. If you find it hard to make new friends, check your attitude.

2. Recognize a bad attitude

Your attitude will encourage you as well as those around you will also be encouraged. You will find that having a good attitude is contagious. A bad attitude is contagious too but eventually people want to get away from the person with a bad attitude, and you will draw more people to you with a good attitude. 

3. Be grateful

A good attitude takes work and the more you work it the easier it gets. Some ways to make it easier are to be a grateful person, always look for the positive in every situation and let others know what that is. A good attitude will serve you in and out of the military.

4. Share your good attitude with others

Make the decision to choose and display a good attitude daily.