Commentary

June 6, 2014

Are you up for the challenge?

Senior Master Sgt. SCOTT HARRIS
56th Operations Group

We in the Air Force are facing challenging times as both individuals and organizations. We are in the middle of several force shaping efforts to trim nearly 25,000 Airmen from our ranks. I want to look at the trials facing many squadrons, groups and wings across the Air Force.

Initially, these organizations were tasked with helping Airmen prepare for the possibility of being selected for separation and assist those selected to successfully transition to civilian life. Now these units have other challenges. What will organizations do without those people chosen to separate? Some units could have up to 10 percent of their force separate in less than a year. Although we have an idea of the number of people to be separated, the future of positions within organizations is yet to be decided.

How does a unit keep up its mission while so many people are preparing to separate? How does that same unit keep going after those people have left? How do we take care of those Airmen who remain to accomplish the mission? Those are the tribulations I want to address.

When faced with challenges, I see people usually react in one of two ways. Some people tend to “buckle down,” put on the blinders and power through. This is my typical approach when dealing with adversity. Regardless, if this personal method works for me, it might not be the most effective technique for an organization. We can’t just tell our Airmen to buckle down or continue preaching we are “doing more with less” indefinitely.

Other times, people are overwhelmed by the extent of their hurdles and simply give up. As alluring as this may seem to some, Air Force leaders can’t even give it a passing thought. We owe our Airmen and our nation much more – quitting is not an option.
Helen Keller once said, “The world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming.”

She exemplifies resiliency and showed that we have the ability to choose whether we remain in our suffering or overcome it.

I think we have to look for a third approach by looking for an opportunity in the challenge. We may even have to find opportunity in the test. This opportunity is the chance to refocus on effectiveness and mission accomplishment while discarding whatever does not contribute.

We must encourage our people to know what we do, how we do it and also why we do it. Do we do things because that is the way it has always been done? We have to begin by focusing on what we need to achieve. We may find some of the steps we usually take to meet our desired end state don’t actually contribute to the effort.

We have entered trying times. Throughout the history of our country and our Air Force, we find most great changes, innovations or inventions came when they were needed most. Although we may not be in the most difficult time in the history of the Air Force, there is a definite necessity for change.

“Necessity is the mother of invention.” – Plato




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


 
 

 
Senior Airman Devante Williams

Luke 1 brings home flagship

Senior Airman Devante Williams Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing commander, speaks with the press after landing the flagship F-35 Lightning ll joint strike fighter Tuesday at Luke Air Force Base. The flagship’s arriva...
 
 

Every Airman has a voice

While Gen. Mark Welsh III was here at Luke Air Force Base, he discussed the importance of listening to your young Airmen, and making sure they feel empowered to have open dialogue and share ideas within their chain of command. As the NCO in charge of my section, I took General Welsh’s words to heart...
 
 

Off-base activities build your CAF

The Critical Days of Summer draw near. I know that in our shop this kicks off a slew of safety briefings about how to minimize the chance of injuries and stay out of danger. However, this shouldn’t discourage you from going out and exploring the Valley of the Sun. Luke is an amazing base because...
 

 
Senior Airman 
MARCY COPELAND

Love thy feet

Senior AirmanMARCY COPELAND Senior Airman Yadria Wood, 56th Medical Operations Squadron aerospace medical technician, wraps a toe after a wedge resection is performed April 16 on Luke Air Force Base. The human foot contains 26 ...
 
 

News Briefs May 1, 2015

BMGR IEC convenes The Intergovernmental Executive Committee for the Barry M. Goldwater Range will convene at 5:30 p.m. May 13 in Cabela’s Conference Room at 9380 W. Glendale Ave., Glendale. The IEC meets three times per year to facilitate the exchange of views, information and advice relating to the Air Force and Marine Corps’ management...
 
 

Trainee breaks 90 percent, never looks back

“Lee, get off my track!” the instructor yelled. The time clock showed that 21 minutes had passed. Everyone in my flight was finished with the mile-and-a-half run except me. I didn’t finish. Before that we had been mock tested on the sit-up and pushup portion of the test. I performed six sit-ups and zero pushups...
 




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