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.


 
 

 
Senior Airman
JAMES HENSLEY

F-35 pilot training underway

Senior AirmanJAMES HENSLEY Travis Byrom, Lockheed Martin instructor pilot, briefs students in the first F-35 Lightning II training course before the start of class May 5 at Luke Air Force Base. The students are Lt. Col. Sean Ho...
 
 
Senior Airman 
DEVANTE WILLIAMS

Wild Weasels reunite

Senior AirmanDEVANTE WILLIAMS The Wild Weasels gather for a group photo during their reunion May 1 at Luke Air Force Base. The Wild Weasels were formed during the early days of the Vietnam War. Their mission was to seek out and...
 
 
Courtesy Photo

LRS Airmen undertake unusual engine repair

Courtesy Photo Staff Sgt. Kyle Saunders, 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle maintenance journeyman, works on a destroyed valve inside the engine of a 2006 Ford Bobtail at Luke Air Force Base. The type of maintenance on t...
 

 

Air Force News – May 15, 2015

Germany Gen. Frank Gorenc, the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander, presented the 86th Airlift Wing in Ramstein a $250,000 check and a trophy May 1, for winning the USAFE-AFAFRICA Innovation Madness tournament. The tournament-style match determines which wing promotes the best innovative culture. Bulgaria The 159th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron was...
 
 

People First – May 15, 2015

Editor’s Note: The “People First” section is compiled from information from the Air Force Personnel Center, TRICARE, 56th Force Support Squadron, Airman and Family Readiness Flight, Veterans Affairs, the civilian personnel office and armed forces news services. For the complete story, click on the link in the title. AF establishes four new key reporting identifiers...
 
 

Next Week in History, May 21, 1960: B-25 retires

Editor’s note: The Thunderbolt will not be published May 22 due to the holiday down day. The following was provided for that edition. Fifty-five years ago next week, the Air Force retired its last World War II North American Aviation B-25 Mitchell bomber. The B-25’s first flight was 20 years earlier on Aug. 29, 1940....
 




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