Commentary

November 1, 2013

Empowering our Airmen

Maj. Kelly A. Gerlach
92nd Contracting Squadron commander

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. — The beginning of a new fiscal year always brings a unique set of challenges. Fiscal year 2014 is no exception.

Not only did we start off the fiscal year with a government-wide shutdown, but we now also find ourselves in a continuing resolution environment coupled with sequestration.

For more than a year now Airmen have been told to start thinking of new and innovative ways to get the mission done safely. Fiscal year 2014 is proving to be no different.

As the Defense Budget shrinks, doing more with less is the new normal. Our senior leaders are challenging us to use our creativity to make the Air Force better for our generation of Airmen and for the generations to come. In a recent speech on empowering Airmen, Gen. Mark A. Welsh III Chief of Staff of the Air Force said, “If it doesn’t make common sense, if it doesn’t make the mission better, if it doesn’t take better care of our people, then just don’t do it and tell your boss you’re done.”

These are powerful words that every Airmen needs to understand and live by.

Do you find yourself in your work center realizing there is a more efficient way to accomplish the mission? Challenge yourself to change the system from the bottom up. Empowering Airmen and trusting them to make the right decisions is the only way the United States Air Force will remain the most powerful Air Force in the world. If not, our Air Force will bleed talent, and ultimately, we will fail to fly, fight and win.

Empowering Airmen requires a delicate balance. For example, the first time an Airman proposes a more efficient way to get the job done and that idea gets shot down, they will be hesitant in the future.
Also, if Airmen are told that an idea is good, but the change is never made, they won’t make further suggestions.

It is incumbent upon leaders at all levels to listen, improve and implement ideas where able. Any changes outside of one’s scope of responsibility must be funneled up the chain of command for action. Feedback and follow-up are essential to making this process work.

By empowering our Airmen, we can continue to keep the Air Force on the road to air superiority.




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


 
 

 
police5

99th SFS honors fallen wingmen during National Police Week

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika Airmen assigned to the 99th Security Forces Squadron participate in a 10K memorial ruck march for National Police Week at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., May 13. The march was one of...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christian Clausen

Dispelling remotely piloted aircraft myths

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christian Clausen Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Mark A. Welsh III conducts an all-call with the men and women of the 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing at Creech Air Force Ba...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Yokota aircrew recounts Nepal earthquake

Courtesy photo Members of the U.S. Air Force view the damage in Nepal firsthand following the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that damaged many parts of the country. KATHMANDU, Nepal— We were tasked with taking an 11-man...
 

 
EOD6

IEDs, UXOs no problem for EOD

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jake Carter Senior Airman Kalin Fuller, 99th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal journeyman looks out from inside his bomb suit at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., May 13. Be...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis

Maintenance shop saves $9 Million through innovative process

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis Curtis Klitzka, 547th Intelligence Squadron sheet metal painter, uses a drill to attach a roof to a golf cart at the Threat Training Facility Maintenance Shop on Nellis Air...
 
 
Golf2

Disabled veterans discover ‘Hope’ through golf program

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle Participants in the Professional Golfers’ Association of America Hope Program practice their swing at the driving range on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., May 14. The PGA Ho...
 




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