Commentary

June 14, 2013

Why we enforce standards

Master Sgt. Vincent Brass
8th Operations Group first sergeant

KUNSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — In the military we constantly refer to “the standard.” Most standards are developed within Air Force Instructions or technical orders. They are what sets us apart from our civilian counterparts.

Webster’s dictionary defines a standard as “something established by authority, custom, or general consent as a model, or example.” We weigh our performance reports and sometimes administrative actions off of our ability to meet the standard.

As a first sergeant, I consistently find myself reminding Air Force members from all Air Force Specialty Codes of the standards. Most times I get a similar response; the member corrects the action and continues on.

Sometimes I get asked, “Shirt, is it really that big of a deal to have my hands in my pockets?” I ask you, is it?

What or whom will be impacted by the staff sergeant or captain with their hands in their pockets? Honestly, probably no one.

Ultimately, what it comes down to is, which standard is OK to deviate from? Air Force instruction 36-2903 Dress and Personal Appearance, was developed to provide us with guidance on how to maintain a professional image at all times.

How we wear our uniform is not only important to how the population of our great nation views us, but also how we pay respect to the men and women who have worn it before us and will continue to wear it long after we are all gone.

In my humble opinion, there should be no standard too small to enforce. Whether it is in a uniform standard, a security forces instruction, or a technical order that tells our maintainers the correct torque specification to prevent catastrophic failure while our pilots are in flight; all standards are developed to ensure mission success.

One of my mentors in the Air Force, retired Chief Master Sgt. Atticus Smith, used to put it to me in a manner that has stuck with me ever since.

“When we begin to pick and choose what standards we will enforce, we begin to accept mediocrity as the standard,” Smith said. “When mediocrity becomes the standard is when the mission will fail.”

I ask you now, why is it a big deal to enforce the standard?




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


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Kleinholz

Defense Secretary Ash Carter visits Nellis

  NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Defense Secretary (Dr.) Ash Carter visited the base Aug. 26 to observe Red Flag 15-4 operations and speak to Airmen and coalition partners about the future of the force and innovation. Whi...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika

Bogdan shines light on F-35 program

  NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — The American Flag hangs from the drapes over two F-35 Lightning II’s as fluorescent light fills the hangar. Two grandstands sit coinciding to each other full of eager Airmen and civilian...
 
 

Money, manpower and minutes

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash.—I’m about to make a big statement, so pay attention. I believe anything physically possible can be accomplished with the right amount of money, manpower and minutes. That’s right. Anything. Just look at some of the amazing architecture and technology devised by the Romans, Egyptians and others throughout history. Look at...
 

 

Remember past to help inform present

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — Like myself, I am sure most of you have heard the saying, “Don’t forget where you came from.” Several years ago, as I was looking through some boxes of my military memorabilia, I ran across a thank you note from Gen. Stephen Lorenz, who at the time was a...
 
 
Courtesy photo

NCO finds calling through various careers

  CREECH AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Is this the job for me? Did I pick the right career field? One might find themselves asking these questions throughout their Air Force career. If these questions arise, don’t fret, there...
 
 

Musician visits Creech Airmen

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Adarius Petty Matt Goss, singer and songwriter, poses with Airmen from the 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing at Creech Air Force Base, Nev., as part of a USO event on Aug. 24. Matt was invited to meet the Airmen who perform remotely piloted aircraft operations, see both the...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>