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.


 
 

 

Information security part of everything we do

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — It’s been one of those days. You are super busy and your unit just received another tasking. You are trying to do five jobs at once and don’t even have time to think. You decide to help your unit deployment manager get the word out and forward an email...
 
 

When leaders earn their keep

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — It’s no secret that a key to being a good leader, military or otherwise, is taking care of your people. I strongly believe Airmen aren’t able to perform at their peak if their personal lives are in disarray. Whether financial woes, marital issues, illnesses or other troubles, it’s tough...
 
 

Why I became a victim advocate for fellow Airmen

Editor’s note: Though the author chose to remain anonymous, this is the real story of one Airman’s experience with sexual assault. Be mindful that no two sexual assault stories are the same. If you, or anyone you know, has been or is currently a victim of any sexual crime, contact the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator...
 

 
suicideprevention

Suicide prevention: What you can do

http://www.airforcemedicine.af.mil/suicideprevention AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy (AFNS) — September 8 through 14 is National Suicide Prevention Week. However, many people are hesitant to get involved in the discussion on the topic...
 
 

Eliminating stigma: Leadership responsibility

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — As a child, a close relative of mine committed suicide. In those days, mental health was only discussed in hushed tones and little support was available. I was shaped by this experience and in my military career, I have tried to create an environment where people feel comfortable discussing their problems and...
 
 

Revisiting, examining four elements of leadership

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — Whenever I see a new revision of the Professional Development Guide, I find myself reflecting on an experience I had meeting an awards board almost 20 years ago. I was a young staff sergeant and my flight chief was a panel member. He came up with a question from the 1993...
 




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