Health & Safety

June 29, 2012

Positive attitude means mission success

by Robert J. Kaschak
452 Emergency Management Technician

The U.S. Air Force mission operates at the “Tip of the Spear,” with cutting-edge innovative technologies and scientific advancements. The men and women charged with carrying out this mission are expected to be highly skilled and maintain even higher levels of competence. Most skills are learned in a classroom environment; however, some are learned and developed through dealing with day-to-day situations and should also be maintained at the highest levels. You cannot study for this skill, nor can you download it from the Internet, because it is already present in each of us. If mastered, this simple and fundamental skill will provide a synergistic effect when mixed with the right combination of determination, knowledge and concern. The skill set I am referring to is attitude. As you read this, I challenge you to define your own attitude. Is your cup half-empty or half-full? Can you spin a positive out of a negative? Attitude permeates everything you do and directly affects the end result.
Let’s focus on attitude as it relates to the upcoming Operational Readiness Exercise and Inspection. Without becoming philosophical, attitude can be categorized as either positive or negative. We, in Emergency Management, are cognizant of the many obstacles our Airmen have to jump over and work very hard to “cultivate” an attitude that is positive and productive. We do that by providing the framework and knowledge needed to safely and expediently execute your war skills.

Confidence is a morale booster and certainly has a positive effect on attitude. We provide these informative articles to enhance your knowledge base and hone your skills. We run exercises, conduct staff assistance visits and most recently, successfully orchestrated an ATSO Rodeo, all to help you become more adept with your wartime requirements and, in the long run, effect a change in attitude.

In our world, we have clear-cut indicators of negative attitudes. As I run down the list, ask yourself if you have an attitude, and if so, is it conducive to the Air Force mission. People who come to class late, or felt forced to attend training, or did not check their chemical training equipment before coming to class are guilty of having negative attitudes. We have had some Airmen show up with incorrect sizes of suits or boots, no Airman’s manual and on top of that, complain the class is too long.

This past weekend, we asked all the rodeo participants to assume MOPP 2 while sitting in the bleachers. More than 45 minutes later, some people were still not in MOPP 2, which caused a 30-minute delay in the start time of the exercise. Nonparticipants in the ATSO were seated in the bleachers disinterested, rather than coming up to the railing to cheer their teammates on.
Some complained that the scoring was unfair. Some commented it was too hot to be putting on and sitting in MOPP gear, although all were in a hangar out of the sun.

These are but a few issues that suggest a bad or negative attitude.

We can provide the best equipment, knowledge and training possible for our Airmen, yet the chances of success will be severely compromised with negative or bad attitudes. In order to foster a positive attitude, try focusing on the big picture and your fellow Airman around you. What can you offer to make the mission better? Be more tolerant of other people’s shortcomings and strive for positive results. We are a team and do well when we apply ourselves and commit 100 percent.

When addressing the newcomers this past Unit Training Assembly, Brig. Gen. Karl MacGregor, commander, 452d Air Mobility Wing, alluded to attitude as being the single biggest contributor in the wing’s ability to perform well during the ORE/ORI. Good attitude leads to making fewer mistakes. However, a bad one usually leads to more. We have two more ATSO Rodeos in July, so if you are a participant, please give it an honest effort, and accept the mistakes and criticism in stride. You will accomplish more and be better prepared with confidence. Prepare prior to attending training events and be willing to participate and learn. Individually, your attitude matters. Collectively, we can do this, Team March.




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