As a brand new member of No.22 SQN (city of Sydney) it has been interesting to read something of the proud history of this unit and the battle honours awarded to it. The motto, ADSUM, is translated as “we are here” and 22 SQN in its newest form after merging with 325 ECSS has definitely arrived! But what does that mean? Is it good or bad? The fact is, it all depends. The future is in our hands and it is up to us as individuals, as a SQN and maybe even as a base community to make it work and bring good from it. There is not much use in asking ‘why’ this has happened, we must go beyond that to find strategies to make this a positive step.
One area that I am required to assess and monitor, is unit and base morale. But my struggle is to define this animal and somehow objectively measure it! One suggestion is that “morale is the fighting spirit of a unit”, which is determined by the even less tangible things such as motivation, attitude, teamwork, organisational support and leadership. It is these human factors that make all the difference. Thus the key to this merger cannot just be the label, and receiving a great heritage but how we apply ourselves to the task and make this unit OUR unit. There will be some pain in working through this transition, there will be grief and loss for both 22 SQN and 325ECSS but it is important that we adopt a positive attitude and work together through the issues without getting caught out by our feelings.
In terms of organisational support, we still do not have a clear picture of what the final structure will look like, so there will continue to be some ‘fear’ but it is important that we do not allow this to paralyse us. It is my hope and prayer that leaders at all levels will rise to the occasion by providing clear direction because “we are here” and we can’t go back there! Seems to me that this applies not just to 22 SQN but to all members of the military, so, what are you doing to raise the morale of your unit?
Chaplain Ian Whitley