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.


 
 

 

Gaining Altitude – Growth Opportunities for the Week Through our character – an opportunity to reflect on important issues in our community

- Have you ever wanted to be part of something bigger than yourself-to make a difference in this world?  Will you be ready when the time comes?  Winston Churchill put it this way: “To each there comes in their lifetime a special moment when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance...
 
 

It is my honor and privilege

How do you respond when someone says thank you? Do you smile and nod your head? Do you say, “No problem.”? How about, “I am just doing my job.” Perhaps a thank you catches you off guard and you fail to provide a response at all? I understand all of these reactions. It is easy...
 
 

Look past 1947 for Air Force roots

The Air Force officially turns 67 this month, but my uncle Gino thinks it’s older. He’s 90, and the lone surviving brother of my father. Both of them served in World War II, as did two of their siblings. My father was in the Navy, as was his eldest brother, Europeo (his real name, I...
 

 
Untitled-1

Suicide prevention more than a month-long campaign

WASHINGTON (AFNS) – All Airmen have a responsibility that lasts much longer than a one-month campaign. This responsibility extends beyond ourselves and includes our work environment, our families, friends, fellow Airmen ...
 
 

New paradigm aims to ‘zeroize’ sexual assault

Why does the U.S. Air Force need a Sexual Assault Awareness Month? Is it really a problem? Isn’t sexual assault more prevalent outside the military? Where do these statistics come from anyway? Is it realistic to aim for zero assaults? Thankfully, these outrageous questions represent the vestiges of a retreating mindset. A new paradigm aims...
 
 

Gaining Altitude – Growth Opportunities for the Week of 29 Aug

Through our character – an opportunity to reflect on important issues in our community - Labor Day is a holiday that is held in honor of working people but we must see work as more than something we do to earn a paycheck.  Work is honorable because God establishes Himself as the very first worker...
 




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>