Air Force

November 21, 2013

Importance of on-the-spot corrections

Master Sgt. Shane Wacaster
823rd Maintenance Squadron first sergeant

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev.  — A senior NCO asked me about five months ago if I had some time to discuss some [Airmen] issues.

“Sure, let’s discuss it over lunch,” I replied. “I’ll meet you at the food court.”

To my surprise the member asked if we could go somewhere else, and said that he avoids the food court like the plague. I laughed and told him the food wasn’t that bad to which he responded it wasn’t the food but rather the lack of standards showcased by service members there. The person couldn’t stand watching it.

I asked if he made corrections himself. He replied that he did, but the amount of discrepancies seemed overwhelming. He found it hard to keep up. The senior NCO said he just wanted to eat, but that he felt guilty if he didn’t correct violations when he saw them.

We spoke for a while on the topic and I walked away with a fresh perspective. As a first sergeant, I correct standards all the time; it’s part of my job. Now when I go to the food court, I purposely observe how many others “look the other way.” It’s shameful.

I was in the food court the other day and left my meal to instruct a technical sergeant to remove his sunglasses from the top of his head. The technical sergeant was sitting at a table with five or six other Airmen and NCOs. The food court was packed with patrons, at least half of whom were in uniform. Am I the only one that noticed?

“I was wondering if anyone was going to say anything to that individual,” a civilian retiree said afterward, so apparently not.

Why don’t we say anything? I actually ask that question from time to time when I make a correction to whoever happens to be with the offender. I will ask something like, “Why didn’t you tell them they couldn’t?” The most common reply usually is, “I was going to, really.”

Feigning ignorance is only hurting your case with a first sergeant. My favorite reply is, “It doesn’t say anything in an [Air Force Instruction].”

Airmen may have questions concerning dress and appearance. Can the sage green watch cap be worn without an outer garment? Can the sage green watch cap be pulled snugly over your head with no fold? Am I allowed to iron my Airman Battle Uniform?

Would you believe that most of these rules are relatively new? AFIs change all the time and it’s up to all of us to see what’s changed because, let’s face it, the Air Force is always going to change. I guarantee you an Airman coming out of technical school right now is going to see a completely different Air Force by the time you retire.

We need to accept change because it’s what makes us great. Change is what allowed us to become a separate branch of service in the first place. Until those changes are official we must comply.

‘I will never leave an Airman behind,’ is a saying that we as Airmen follow but that’s exactly what we’re doing if we do not ensure our fellow Airmen understand it’s the little things that cause us to lose our discipline. Our mission requires us to follow instructions regardless of how we personally feel because of the bottom-line nature of what we do. The next time you correct standards, consider yourself a mentor, a leader and a wingman that will never falter and will not fail.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Why Air Force Smart Operations – or AFSO?

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO – RANDOLPH, TEXAS — Confucius once said that in order for a man to move a mountain he must first begin by carrying away its small stones. Now, if one is to imagine the Air Force as that giant mountain, how does an Airman begin trying to move it? That is,...
 
 

AEF Teaming brings new order of business to deployments

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — For many Airmen deployments are hard to understand, and for leaders they’re hard to sell and to sustain. Implemented in October 2014, Air Expeditionary Forces Teaming was designed as a way to improve predictability, visibility and stability for units and Airmen while maintaining the flexibility to satisfy combatant commander requirements downrange....
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Frank Casciotta)

New Airmen get their bearings

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. — New Airmen go through a whirlwind of activities during the transformation of civilian to active duty Airman, which can be a confusing process. Lucky for new Airmen, there’s the First Term A...
 

 

Air Force seeks $10 billion over sequestration funding

WASHINGTON – The demand for Air Force capabilities is increasing, therefore the service is requesting $10 billion more than sequestration-level funding provides, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said today in Orlando, Florida. Speaking during the Air Force Association Air Warfare Symposium and Technology Exposition, James discussed why the Air Force is taking its strongest...
 
 

75 day leave carryover ends Sept. 30

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) — Effective Sept. 30, military members will no longer be able to carry more than 60 days of leave into the next fiscal year, in accordance with 2013 National Defense Authorization Act requirements. Unless they are approved for special leave accrual, regular Air Force and Active Guard Reserve, or...
 
 

Generals outline Combat Air Force’s future challenges

ORLANDO, Fla. (AFNS) — Four senior Air Force leaders discussed key issues facing the nation’s Combat Air Forces at the Air Warfare Symposium here, Feb.12. During the hour-long discussion, leaders touched on budget concerns, ongoing operations against the Islamic State of Iraq in the Levant terrorist group, the future of fifth-generation fighters like the F-22 Raptor and F-35A...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin