What is Esprit de Corps?

MARCH AIR RESERVE BASE, CALIF. -- Esprit de corps (es-pree-deh core) is a French term that means group spirit. It also means good morale, comradeship and having a shared purpose. I like to think that the "spirit" of our service implies devotion and loyalty to the Air Force and our country with a deep emphasis on our history and traditions. 

You may have heard the term esprit de corps used throughout your military career as a way to remind you that the contributions made by you and your fellow airmen are a passionate team effort with one goal in mind, service. Make no mistake about it, your contributions are just that and more! 

Every time you train, drill, study, help, guide and teach, you do so because you volunteered to make a difference. You do it because you believe (as do your fellow military members) that your hard work pays off and affords those who cannot serve a better way of life with liberty and freedom. 

You do these things alongside many who have given their lives to preserve the values we all believe in as Americans. Sometimes those efforts are small in comparison to the overall impact they will have in the spirit of things but are just as valuable. 

For example, how many of us have heard reveille or retreat starting and waited inside a building to avoid the protocol? How many times have you dreaded performing an open ranks blues inspection because of all the things you need to get done that UTA? Ask yourself this question, "When I feel that way, am I serving with esprit de corps?" I venture to say we have told ourselves at least once, "I can do better." 

Chances are you may not be the only one thinking that! If you go to participate in reveille or retreat, you're honoring those who serve with you and those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. When you stand in formation for Blues inspection, you're showing that you're not an 'individual' but part of the best military in the world. Make no mistake about it, we will never be successful in our service as individuals because we need to accomplish our mission as a group. Most importantly, we need to do so with esprit de corps. 

I challenge each and everyone one of you to continue your service to our country with the group spirit that sets us above the rest. This esprit de corps is one of the main reasons we're the best global force in the world!