Commentary

August 2, 2013

Take time to recharge

Lt. Col. KEVIN CRUIKSHANK
425th Fighter Squadron commander

The 56th Fighter Wing is full of amazing Airmen who do amazing things day after day. We work hard, we work long hours and we continuously strive for perfection as we accomplish the mission. We do so despite constant reductions in manning, money and available time.

Our output is high and constant. But I ask you this: how do you know when you are approaching the limit of doing too much with too little? Leaders, how do you know when your people are approaching their limit? I would argue that in an Air Force populated with “I can get it done no matter what” personalities, recognizing the limit is often a difficult task. What are your indicators? Your peers? Your subordinates?

Recognizing our own personal indicators may be difficult. Have we lost interest in hobbies that at one time we thought we couldn’t live without? Have our interpersonal relationships with friends or our family gone south? Are we forgetting events and appointments when they used to come naturally? Are we not as patient with our children as we used to be? Do things that never bothered us suddenly seem aggravating? Have we ignored our normal exercise routine? Probably one of the best clues is when a friend or a loved one pulls you aside and asks, “What’s the matter? I can tell something is wrong.”
Listen to them. They have an outsider’s point of view, and in many cases, their perceptions may be more accurate than our own.

As leaders, you need to know your Airmen and need to keep a watchful eye on them and look for even the smallest of indicators. We are pushing our people hard in preparation for the upcoming Combined Unit Inspection, and, at the same time, we are still operating the base, training our Airmen, launching jets and deploying our people in support of contingency operations. Where is their limit, and what are their indicators? Commonly late for work, missed appointments, a spouse that has left, failed physical training tests, financial difficulties, or a decrease in job performance may be their indicators. And keep in mind, we are dealing with perfectionists with “can do” attitudes – this fact alone may make their indicators very subtle and difficult to detect. It is our job, as their leaders, to recognize them.

In our fast-paced Air Force life, it may be difficult to find time to “recharge,” so I encourage you to do the following: look for windows of opportunity (and leaders, you need to create opportunities), however large or small, to get a “partial charge.” Days may come and go without one, so when one comes along, you have to grab it. Meet your spouse for lunch, take family picnics, push away from the desk and make it to your kids’ ball practice, or simply throw a dart at a map and just drive – get out and spend time with your family. Single Airmen, call or visit a friend, go out and do things that you enjoy, take a small vacation, plan a road trip with your fellow dorm dwellers. The point is: do something. Break the routine.

Lastly, if you are at or approaching your personal limit, talk to someone; a friend, the chaplain, or your supervisor. There is no shame or stigma if you need to talk to somebody. The point is take care of yourself and your fellow Airmen.




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


 
 

 
NEW_1

Luke F-35s visit Columbus AFB

Airman 1st Class Daniel Lile A T-6 Texan II roars overhead as the pilots of two Luke Air Force Base F-35 Lightning IIs prepare to exit their aircraft July 23 at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. The pilots are Capt. Nichola...
 
 

Gillespie Loop: Honors Airman who made ultimate sacrifice

BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan — The men and women of the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing came together for a road dedication ceremony to honor Master Sgt. Randy Gillespie, a fallen Airman who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Master Sgt. Randy Gillespie was a career fuels specialist who died July 9, 2007, from wounds sustained during small...
 
 

Who’s afraid of a little blood?

I have been in the Air Force for 22 years and have been a medical laboratory technician since the beginning of my career. The medical or clinical laboratory is where specimens are tested to provide information to medical providers who directly assist in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease in patients. After graduating basic...
 

 

Pursue education for career’s sake

Everyone knows education can be a good bullet on an enlisted performance report, but few know the true value of an education in regard to a military career. The pursuit of an education can be just as valuable as the degree acquired at the end. The knowledge acquired in the pursuit of an education can...
 
 
Pg-3--photo-illustration

Candid money talk improves relationship

There are many reasons why people divorce but at the top of the list are lack of communication and finances. That’s why it’s important to combine these two topics to make for a successful long-lasting relationship. “I bel...
 
 

News Briefs July 31, 2015

Total body conditioning class A new total body conditioning class is 6:30 and 9 a.m. Monday and Wednesday. The 6:30 a.m. class is broken into two half hour segments to accommodate squadron or individual physical training. The 9 a.m. class is one hour. The class consists of body weight movements and the use of equipment...
 




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>