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 Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle

LRS fuels Nellis’ mission success

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle Staff Sgt. Mike Radcliff, U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron crew chief, and Airman 1st Class Patrick Fields, 99th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels mobile distribu...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Adarius Petty

Creech heats up

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Adarius Petty The Nellis-Creech Fire Emergency Services Flight’s Fire Station 6 personnel applaud the speaker during the Fire Station 6 ribbon cutting ceremony at Creech Air Force Base, N...
 
 

Aviation pioneer in Las Vegas

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — During World War II, aviation opportunities literally exploded as the military trained hundreds of thousands of individuals to fly, opening the door to many who might never have had the chance before. Among this group were women pilots, many of whom trained and flew as civil service pilots with...
 

 

Rosie the Riveter and me

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. — As we recognize Women’s History Month this March, I am struck by the thought that heroes and role models do not have to be one single person but, in fact, can be several people. For me, this truth is especially relevant. During World War II, many women opted to...
 
 
DT1-(10)

Ground broken for new solar array at Nellis Air Force Base

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler Col. Richard Boutwell, 99th Air Base Wing commander, speaks at a ground breaking ceremony for a new solar array at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., March 24. The new array will ...
 
 
Photo courtesy of retired Master Sgt. Phillip Sisneros

Darkest before dawn: Retired master sergeant, active duty wife share struggle of overcoming TBI

Photo courtesy of retired Master Sgt. Phillip Sisneros Then Master Sgt. Phillip Sisneros, 99th Communications Squadron comm focal point chief, lays in a coma following a motorcycle accident in Las Vegas on Aug. 13, 2011. Sisner...
 




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