Commentary

June 15, 2012

Don’t be shy: If you write it, own it

by Maj. Allen Herritage
2nd Combat Camera Squadron

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — Two past stories on the Air Force’s web page drew significant reaction in the site’s comments section. Both a story on finance troops being awarded the Bronze Star Medal and the news that Air Force Space Command was ending wear of flight suits by nonaircrew personnel drove more comments than any story I’ve ever read on the site.

One attracted so many negative comments; the comments themselves became the subject of a story in Air Force Times. The reason for the publicity wasn’t the sheer number of comments, but their nature. Many, if not most, of the comments on both stories were sarcastic, bitter, or just plain rude.

It’s not the existence of negative comments that bothers me. I think discourse on Air Force issues is good for us as Airmen and our service as a whole. And if you take some time to consider the arguments surrounding the issues covered in these stories, there are some valid points on both sides.

This discourse can become heated. That’s OK in my book. I appreciate someone who is passionate about their opinion and ready to defend it. The problem here is that there is a direct correlation to the nature of the comment and whether or not the commentator was anonymous. Almost without exception, comments that were rude or sarcastic came from an anonymous source.

I recognize the subjectivity of the last sentence. What’s rude to one person may be perfectly acceptable to another. But it’s safe to say that the wording of most of these comments would be changed drastically, or even left unsaid, if their originator’s identity was attached to them.

The anonymity offered by the internet has given those with an axe to grind a false sense of empowerment. I say “false” because the very nature of their comments limits their utility. The angry rant in the comments section rarely inspires real change and usually only serves one person — the one doing the ranting.

I’m not advocating a “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” approach.

Our business is serious. Sometimes we have to say things that are unpleasant to others. But, as leaders, I think we have the duty to own it. This isn’t just about comments on a web page. It’s about accountability. If you want to criticize something, have the intestinal fortitude to defend that criticism and the manner in which it was conveyed. If you can’t own it, why say it at all?

Courtesy of af.mil




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


 
 

 
Pg-1-Standalone---140411-F-HT977-026

Weather: Exercise component

First responders prepare to transport a simulated injured patient during an extreme weather exercise April 11 at Luke Air Force Base. The exercise was designed to train and evaluate Luke Airmen on readiness and preparation for ...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Plane crash, coma doesn’t deter pilot

Courtesy photo Retired Capt. David Berling, 56th Contracting Squadron contract specialist, stands in front of his 1977 Cessna RG March 23, 2012, at the Glendale Airport. Berling lost his legs in a 2007 plane crash, the subject ...
 
 

Comprehensive support system helps unit resiliency

In today’s Air Force environment of force restructure, budgetary constraints, continued mission requirements and resiliency, establishing a comprehensive support system in a unit is absolutely essential for success. Each organizational tier, whether at the element, flight or squadron level, must be resilient and have support mechanisms in place to not only meet, but exceed daily...
 

 

Preparing for next rank makes successful Airmen

As Airmen we have many responsibilities and duties we must carry out in accordance with our jobs. According to AFI 36-2618, The Enlisted Force Structure, our responsibilities are as follows: junior enlisted Airmen initially focus on adapting to military requirements, achieving occupational proficiency and learning how to become highly productive members of the Air Force....
 
 
Senior Airman
JASON COLBERT

Energy office helps keep lights on

Senior AirmanJASON COLBERT Master Sgt. Adam Kelley, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron base energy manager, explains the value of low wattage light bulbs to Robert Wimp at the Energy Conservation Month booth April 9 at Luke Air Force...
 
 

News Briefs April 18, 2014

Change of command Lt. Col. Jon Wheeler relinquishes command of the 310th Fighter Squadron to Lt. Col. Matthew Warner at 8:31 a.m. today in Hangar 913. Days of Remembrance The 2014 Days of Remembrance of the Holocaust Victims is May 2 at Club Five Six. A Holocaust exhibit of masks of holocaust survivors and paintings...
 




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