Commentary

March 7, 2014

Find answer, don’t pass buck

Master Sgt. LARRY MORGAN
56th Medical Group

What do you do when your subordinate asks you a challenging question? The question could be about anything such as career progression advice, educational advancement, family emergencies or Air Force instruction clarification. How do you respond to your subordinate? Do you quickly pass the buck and refer him to the group superintendent, first sergeant, or possibly the career assistance advisor, or do you take the time to find the answers to better assist and mentor your subordinate?

All too often supervisors would rather direct their subordinates to other areas rather than take the initiative to find the answer. A few years ago while working as a flight chief within the communications squadron’s operations flight, I had to mentor one of my technical sergeants on how to not pass the buck. On this particular day, I walked into a section and saw that the technical sergeant was unsure if his Airman was in compliance with AFI 36-2903, Dress and Appearance, because his Airman showed up to a physical training session with athletic shorts under his PT uniform. Just as I walked in the office, the technical sergeant was about to send the Airman to see the first sergeant to verify if the Airman was within standards or not. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, knowing the Airman was not in compliance with standards. I immediately told the Airman to stay put and then I pulled the technical sergeant into the hallway. My words were very simple, “Stop passing the buck!” I fervently advised him to locate the AFI that governs dress and appearance so he could educate himself and his Airman on how to properly wear the PT uniform.

AFI 36-2618, The Enlisted Force Structure, instructs supervisors to take an active leadership and supervisory role on a daily basis with the subordinate. An active role means to stay engaged with one’s subordinate and certainly, not pass the buck by delegating one’s active leadership role to someone else. This can include understanding there will be times as a supervisor, when one must refer a subordinate depending on the complexity of the issue. This requires the supervisor to be cognizant of the helping agencies that are available to assist the subordinate.

To all supervisors, be an effective leader and do not pass the buck. Your subordinates are depending on you for leadership and mentorship. Take the time to find the answers and if you need assistance, talk to your leaders. Remember, your subordinates deserve your time.




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


 
 

 

Lightning II debrief …

Staff Sgt. Staci Miller Senior Airman Roger Combs, 61st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, downloads information from an F-35 Lightning II engine at Luke Air Force Base. Since 2010, more than 1,800 maintainers have been trained on the F-35. The first production F-35A rolled out of assembly in February 2006 in Fort Worth, Texas. Later...
 
 
Courtesy graphic

Commons provides ‘crib’ for Airmen

Courtesy graphic The Community Commons concept design. Renovation has begun and will be completed in May 2016. The Luke Air Force Base Community Center, Bldg. 700, where the 56th Aerospace Medicine Squadron Wellness Center resi...
 
 

How do you stack up?

With upcoming changes to the enlisted performance report and Air Force promotion system, it’s important to understand how you stack up against your peers, not only within your job, but within your unit as well. The days of receiving time in grade and time in service points are numbered. They are being replaced with a...
 

 

CCAF offers jump on education

The Community College of the Air Force was established in 1972 to recognize academic achievements for technical training by Air Force schools. It awards an associate in applied science degree to enlisted members of the active-duty Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command who have completed the course work. Degree programs are...
 
 
Johnny Saldivar

Roberson takes command of AETC

Johnny Saldivar Lt. Gen Darryl Roberson, Air Education and Training Command commander, speaks during the AETC change of command ceremony Tuesday at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas. Roberson is a command pilot who has mor...
 
 
4_150710-F-NQ441-5x7-036

Salutes and Awards

FWSA announce awards The following individuals are quarterly awards winners: 56th Fighter Wing Staff Agencies Airman: Senior Airman Leanne Mathews NCO: Staff Sgt. Natalie Nelson Senior NCO: Master Sgt. Deanna Commack Company gr...
 




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>