Knowledge equals power

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz, -- The phrase "knowledge is power" is said to originate from Sir Francis Bacon in 1597. Personally, I remember learning the phrase from the old television show "School House Rock" theme song. The key idea behind the phrase is the more knowledge you accumulate, the more "power" you will have. Here is a simple breakdown: knowledge = options = power. By increasing your knowledge you can gain power over your Air Force career, no matter the length of service.

Let's begin with your Air Force specialty code. There are many benefits that come from knowing your job - better promotion opportunities, the possibility for awards and recognition, and with the retention boards, a higher chance of keeping your job. An important aspect to knowing your job is learning your regulations and how to navigate through them. From my short time in the Air Force the phrase I have heard the most is, "What does it say in the regulations?"

As a new Airman trying to learn my job, I would get frustrated with this response, but as I gained experience I found that whenever someone had a question or problem I knew the answer or where to find it. This knowledge empowered me to do a better job and allowed me to become an integral part of the section. It was also the knowledge and experience of my supervisors and mentors who taught me to use the regulations and how to better myself as an Airman. If you can find a supervisor or mentor who is willing to share their knowledge use them, thank them, and be willing to share that knowledge down the road.

As members of the Air Force we are given many benefits for our service which can assist us in enhancing our careers in the Air Force. In fact they are too numerous to name in this article. I would like to cover one specific benefit I feel is of utmost importance -- education.

Education is the pursuit of knowledge. The main benefit available to you right now while on active duty is the tuition assistance program. The Air Force will pay 100 percent of your education, but be sure to read the small print. As times change so have the eligibility requirements, degree goal classifications, and what exactly that 100 percent covers.

One of the best resources to identify such changes and what is available to you is the education office. I have used their expertise many times and can vouch for their professionalism and willingness to assist you in reaching your educational goals.

There are countless ways you can develop power through knowledge in your Air Force career or in your daily life. The important thing is the willingness to learn and apply your knowledge. By using all the resources available you can make the most out of your career and be prepared for life outside the Air Force. Take that knowledge, and use it as the tool to shape your future.