Commentary

November 22, 2013

First Sergeant stresses importance of on-the-spot corrections

Master Sgt. Shane Wacaster
823rd Maintenance Squadron first sergeant

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev.  — A senior NCO asked me about five months ago if I had some time to discuss some [Airmen] issues.

“Sure, let’s discuss it over lunch,” I replied. “I’ll meet you at the food court.”

To my surprise the member asked if we could go somewhere else, and said that he avoids the food court like the plague. I laughed and told him the food wasn’t that bad to which he responded it wasn’t the food but rather the lack of standards showcased by service members there. The person couldn’t stand watching it.

I asked if he made corrections himself. He replied that he did, but the amount of discrepancies seemed overwhelming. He found it hard to keep up. The senior NCO said he just wanted to eat, but that he felt guilty if he didn’t correct violations when he saw them.

We spoke for a while on the topic and I walked away with a fresh perspective. As a first sergeant, I correct standards all the time; it’s part of my job. Now when I go to the food court, I purposely observe how many others “look the other way.” It’s shameful.

I was in the food court the other day and left my meal to instruct a technical sergeant to remove his sunglasses from the top of his head. The technical sergeant was sitting at a table with five or six other Airmen and NCOs. The food court was packed with patrons, at least half of whom were in uniform. Am I the only one that noticed?

“I was wondering if anyone was going to say anything to that individual,” a civilian retiree said afterward, so apparently not.

Why don’t we say anything? I actually ask that question from time to time when I make a correction to whoever happens to be with the offender. I will ask something like, “Why didn’t you tell them they couldn’t?” The most common reply usually is, “I was going to, really.”

Feigning ignorance is only hurting your case with a first sergeant. My favorite reply is, “It doesn’t say anything in an [Air Force Instruction].”

Airmen may have questions concerning dress and appearance. Can the sage green watch cap be worn without an outer garment? Can the sage green watch cap be pulled snugly over your head with no fold? Am I allowed to iron my Airman Battle Uniform?

Would you believe that most of these rules are relatively new? AFIs change all the time and it’s up to all of us to see what’s changed because, let’s face it, the Air Force is always going to change. I guarantee you an Airman coming out of technical school right now is going to see a completely different Air Force by the time you retire.

We need to accept change because it’s what makes us great. Change is what allowed us to become a separate branch of service in the first place. Until those changes are official we must comply.

‘I will never leave an Airman behind,’ is a saying that we as Airmen follow but that’s exactly what we’re doing if we do not ensure our fellow Airmen understand it’s the little things that cause us to lose our discipline. Our mission requires us to follow instructions regardless of how we personally feel because of the bottom-line nature of what we do. The next time you correct standards, consider yourself a mentor, a leader and a wingman that will never falter and will not fail.




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


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jason Couillard

Volunteers ensure smooth operation at pharmacies

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jason Couillard Retired U.S. Army Maj. Jim Duggins, 99th Medical Support Squadron volunteer, looks for medication on a shelf, July 30 at the satellite pharmacy on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev...
 
 
air-force-assistance-fund-logo

AF Assistance Fund may not hit 2014 goal

WASHINGTON — In spite of persistent economic difficulties, active-duty and retired Airmen have contributed more than $6 million to the Air Force Assistance Fund, or AFAF, during this year’s fund drive. Although the annual A...
 
 
DT7

Weathering the weather

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis Staff Sgt. Jarad Guerrero-Salinas, 57th Operations Support Squadron shift supervisor, and Master Sgt. Adam D’Anthony, 57th OSS airfield weather support NCO in charge, dis...
 

 
doctor

Ask the Doc

Q.“Does TRICARE cover bariatric, weight loss, surgery?“ A. Yes, but here are certain conditions that must be met. TRICARE cost shares on any of the following open or laparoscopic surgical procedures: 1.Roux-en-Y ga...
 
 

Community Happenings – August 1, 2014

Weekly events Monday: Ready, Set, Grow, Parent Group, 10 a.m. at the youth center. Tuesday: Artistic Expression, 5:30 p.m. at the youth center. Wednesday: Grill your own steak, 5 p.m. at The Club. Thursday: Right Start Newcomers Orientation, 8:30 a.m., at The Desert Oasis. Parent Support Group: Share common experiences unique to special needs families...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler

Sun sets on Red Flag 14-3

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler The sun sets behind a row of F-16 FightingFalcons during Red Flag 14-3, July 16 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Red Flag provides a series of intense air-to-air combat sce...
 




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