Commentary

June 15, 2012

Leading in our fiscal environment

Commentary by Capt. Nicholas Shimkus
66th Training Squadron Detachment 1 commander

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska (AFNS) — While executing a few mission rehearsals in the middle of the African desert, one of my men was returning to our rally point on his all-terrain vehicle and was being a little too aggressive in his maneuvers.

Sure enough, he ended up in the dirt with the ATV alongside him. The rest of the team ran to ensure he was uninjured. He was fine, but the ATV was now inoperative. I asked him what had happened and he replied that he was just having a little fun. Then I asked if he thought his little bit of fun was worth it.

“Yes, we can just get a new ATV,” he said, smiling.

His smile faded when I asked if a fellow Airman who may be home with his family after a long deployment would like to take his place if the bumps and bruises were a little more serious.

“No,” he replied.

Could he fix the ATV that he just broke?

“No,” he answered again.

Did he know that the unit is currently strapped for cash and could not replace the alert vehicle smoking next to us, which is no longer available for alert?

“No,” he said for the third time.

In fact, we would not have the money until next fiscal year, which was four months away, and then we would have to bump something else off the budget during that fiscal quarter.

The problem is that the Air Force cannot afford to simply “get a new one.” Because of this, we all need to take care of the gear that we have. If something is broken, we may need to mend it ourselves.

It was my mistake for not pushing the big picture out to my guys earlier than this point and for allowing such a mindset to exist up until then; in truth, I have had the same thoughts in the past. Today, I think of how I can maintain my equipment to prevent breakage. If I had to, I would personally fix the gear I do break.

Most of the time, if you have to think whether something is worth doing or not, it is probably not. Do not do it; instead, do something that will not damage you, others or Air Force equipment.

Take care of your gear and your unit. Our Air Force will be all the better because of your responsible decision.




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


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Charles Larkin Sr.

First sergeant provides health, welfare for warriors

U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Charles Larkin Sr. Master Sgt. Phelipe Salinas speaks to his athletes during the 2014 Warrior Games at the Garry Berry Stadium in Colorado Springs, Colo., Oct. 2. Salinas is the first sergean...
 
 

Safeguarding, re-evaluating your digital footprint

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Social media is a great resource for Airmen and their families to share information and stay connected to relatives at home and abroad. Although many depend on these wonderful tools, recent events have encouraged us to re-evaluate our digital footprint to ensure our personal and professional information is protected from online...
 
 

October is Energy Action Month: ‘I am Air Force Energy’

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Summer has come to a close, and we’re all looking forward to more tolerable temperatures in the coming weeks. Even better news — this means your power bill is likely to go down. But if you think you pay a lot for energy, imagine paying Nellis’ bill of approximately $1 million...
 

 

Taming ‘tyranny of urgent’

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. — Many Airmen lead incredibly busy lives, full of unfinished tasks that we often wish we had more hours in the day to fit it all in, and in our professional lives, budgets remain tight, the Air Force is shrinking, and we are challenged to do more with less. Yet...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis

Armory: A home for weapons

U.S. Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis Senior Airman Jaime Romo, 99th Security Forces Squadron armorer, puts a M-240 rifle away after clearing the weapon at the 99th SFS armory at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo

Nellis Open House brings history to life

U.S. Air Force photo The AT-6 Texan, which was originally flown in 1935 and flown here in the 1940s, will be one of many aircraft at the Nellis Air Force Base Open House on Nov. 8 and 9. It is a single-engine advanced trainer a...
 




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