Air Force

November 2, 2012

Making the ‘hard call’

Master Sgt. CHRISTOPHER LEBOURVEAU
56th Civil Engineer Squadron

When was the last time you sat down with your Airman and said, “No, you cannot take leave because we have work to do,” or “I’m sorry but you are not getting a decoration because of …,” or finally my favorite, “No, you may not leave during the middle of an exercise to go buy Metallica tickets.”

That last one was me, by the way, when I was a young Airman. There are tons of “hard calls” that we as leaders make every day. I break them down into two groups: professional calls and personal calls.

Professional hard calls happen so often that we don’t even pay attention at times. It could be a civil engineer plumber shutting down the water to a building to avoid potential damage, or a finance Airman deducting someone’s pay, or a security forces Airman trusting their training and their gut instinct when someone might be intoxicated. Hard calls are made at every level, every day. Not all the calls you make will be the right ones either. Mistakes will be made. The Air Force entrusts you more than any other service or corporation in the world to make these calls.

Personal hard calls to me are the toughest. There are always emotions and circumstances involved. Everyone has real life problems and issues that we deal with. Those play a huge factor in making decisions.

As a first sergeant, I deal with it every day – recommending reductions in rank, discharging someone for drug use or dealing with domestic violence. The calls we make are not dealt with lightly, but rather with concern for all parties. But know this; the end result must always be in the best interest of the Air Force. A lot of leaders will not make these calls. They will pass it on to the next level. They are too concerned about being liked or respected. My answer to that is “who the heck said you can’t be liked or respected but still make hard calls?

To quote one of my mentors, Chief Master Sgt. Chris Moore, who said, “It is imperative that leaders make hard calls to maintain the integrity of the institution, and our institution is the Air Force.” Don’t be afraid to tell people when they are doing something wrong. Don’t be afraid to listen to the problems of your subordinates, then weigh the facts and discuss avenues that will benefit everybody involved. But, if avenues are closed or options don’t work out, don’t be afraid to make the hard call.




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


 
 

 
Tech. Sgt. 
BARBARA PLANTE

944th Airmen live life as military couple

Tech. Sgt.BARBARA PLANTE Staff Sgt. Adam Jenkins and Senior Airman Cassandra Jenkins, 944th Logistics Readiness Squadron, are a dual-military couple and work together as maintainers in the refueling vehicle maintenance shop. St...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Walt Disney inspires squadron

Courtesy photo While stationed at Luke Field, Sgt. Seymour Pine had the unique privilege of accepting the 62nd Fighter Squadron emblem of a boxing bulldog from the artist who drew it — Walt Disney. Everyone had a role to play...
 
 

Air Force News – August 28, 2015

Alaska A C-130 Hercules assigned to the36th Airlift Squadron from Yokota Air Base, Japan, became the first U.S. aircraft to drop Japan Ground Self-Defense Force members onto U.S. soil, Aug. 12 during Red Flag-Alaska. Paris U.S. Ambassador to France, Jane Hartly, recognized Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone for his actions in saving countless lives during...
 

 

People First – August 28, 2015

SAPR services offered to Air Force civilians The Air Force released a policy memo Monday allowing Air Force civilian employees who are victims of sexual assault to file restricted and unrestricted reports with their installation’s sexual assault response coordinator. The policy is effective immediately and allows SARCs and sexual assault prevention and response victim advocates to...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Airmen bring economic opportunity to Afghan women: T-bolt receives AETC public service award

Courtesy photo The idea for the nonprofit came from Capt. Jon Hudgins after he received a Christmas card from home with a picture in which he saw almost every woman wearing a scarf. “Mankind must put an end to war before war ...
 
 
Senior Airman James Hensley

Mentoring provides solutions to challenging times

Senior Airman James Hensley Staff Sgt. John Morin shows Airman 1st Class Kevin Dawson, 56th Comptroller Squadron customer service technicians, where he stands in tasks completed on Air Force Training Records on the Air Force po...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>