Commentary

June 14, 2013

Why enforce the standards

Master Sgt. Vincent Brass
8th Operations Group first sergeant

KUNSAN AIR BASE, South Korea -†In the military we constantly refer to “the standard.” Most standards are developed within Air Force instructions or technical orders.†They are what sets us apart from our civilian counterparts.

Webster’s dictionary defines a standard as “something established by authority, custom, or general consent as a model, or example.” We weigh our performance reports and sometimes administrative actions off of our ability to meet the standard.

As a first sergeant, I consistently find myself reminding Air Force members from all Air Force specialty codes of the standards. Most times I get a similar response; the member corrects the action and continues on.

Sometimes I get asked, “Shirt, is it really that big of a deal to have my hands in my pockets?” I ask you, is it?

What or whom will be impacted by the staff sergeant or captain with their hands in their pockets?
Honestly, probably no one.

Ultimately, what it comes down to is, which standard is†OK to deviate from? The Air Force uniform standard, Air†Force instruction 36-2903, was developed to provide us with guidance on how to maintain a professional image at all times.

How we wear our uniform is not only important to how the population of our great nation views us, but also how we pay respect to the men and women who have worn it before us and will continue to wear it long after we are all gone.

In my humble opinion, there should be no standard too small to enforce. Whether it is in a uniform standard, a security forces instruction, or a technical order that tells our maintainers the correct torque specification to prevent catastrophic failure while our pilots are in flight; all standards are developed to ensure mission success.

One of my mentors in the Air Force, retired Chief Master Sgt. Atticus Smith, used to put it to me in a manner that has stuck with me ever since.

“When we begin to pick and choose what standards we will enforce, we begin to accept mediocrity as the standard,” Smith said. “When mediocrity becomes the standard is when the mission will fail.”

I ask you now, why is it a big deal to enforce the standard?




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


 
 

 

Pursuing dreams to fly, fight and win

Have you ever been told you didn’t have what it takes while pursuing a goal? Did you believe it? I did. My final year in college, the Reserve Officer Training Corps detachment commander met with each senior to discuss our Air Force future. When asked what I hoped to do, like most of my peers...
 
 

Women’s history facts

As we continue to celebrate Women’s History Month, a few more facts about women’s history for your enrichment. To gain further understanding of the impact these women had in history, a link regarding the fact is provided. In 1918, Opha Mae Johnson became the first woman to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps. At that...
 
 

Everyone has a story to tell

We tend to believe that just because we haven’t won a Nobel Prize, or survived a horrific event, that our stories are not worth telling.  This notion is false; your story is worth telling. We often get caught up on other peoples’ stories, whether it is that of a famous actress or a war hero. ...
 

 

Growth Opportunities for the Week

Through our character – an opportunity to reflect on important issues in our community – When you are hurting, whom can you trust? Gen. Ulysses S. Grant said, “The friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most. I can better trust those who helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those...
 
 
Air Force photograph

Rosie the Riveter and me

Air Force photograph Staff Sgt. Alexandra M. Longfellow displays a tattoo of “Rosie the Riveter” to showcase how she became who she is today. The history of Rosie shows that with dedication and effort, anyone can do anythin...
 
 

Celebrating the work that social workers do

March is nationally recognized as Social Work Month. According to the National Association of Social Workers, since the first social work class was offered in the summer of 1898 at Columbia University, social workers have led the way developing private and charitable organizations to serve people in need. And now, social workers continue to address...
 




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>