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Expectations:Fundamental concepts that can never be overlooked

  • Published
  • By Col. Scott Fox
  • 90th Missile Wing vice commander
In a previous commentary, I focused on the concept of choices - individual decisions we make, both on and off-duty, which hopefully lead to a successful outcome. In order to make those daily choices, it helps to have a foundation, or fundamental set of beliefs to help ensure you make those choices in a responsible manner. For those assigned to units on Air Force Global Strike Command's F. E. Warren Air Force Base, and more specifically those personnel assigned to 90th Missile Wing units, we established three expectations to form a foundation from which sound, responsible decisions can be made.

The first expectation is professionalism. Every member of the organization is expected to maintain his or her professionalism, on and off-duty, at all times. Is that a fair expectation? Is it realistic to expect Airmen to live up to a daily expectation of professionalism, even when off-duty and away from base? What about in the privacy of their own home - is it possible their actions even in their own home may reflect negatively on their squadron, group, wing or even the U.S. Air Force? Very simply, "yes, yes and absolutely!" That doesn't mean it will be easy, but professionalism is most definitely a key ingredient to our continued success.

In addition to being professional all the time, we ask each individual in the wing to give 100 percent in everything they do. Without maximum effort from every member, mission success may not ever be achieved. Our mission demands perfection as the standard in many critical areas and that perfection can only be realized when individuals realize that teamwork is equally as important as individual effort.

Finally, we expect each individual to treat others as they would like to be treated. This "golden rule" has a basis in cultures and belief sets from around the world and dating back thousands of years. A concept known by many names, it is one of the most fundamental concepts taught to our children and is essentially the basis for the concept of as human rights.

It doesn't matter who you are, leader or follower, senior officer or the most junior Airman Basic, the expectations are the same. Mission success depends on an integrated team effort and, more often than not, missteps and errors can be traced back to gaps in these three fundamental concepts. Good order and discipline, a concept crucial to the success of any military organization, is negatively affected when we have breakdowns in professionalism. Efforts may simply not be enough to successfully complete our mission if individuals can't find it in themselves to give 100 percent and work as a team. Unit morale will most certainly take a hit if members don't find ways to work together and take care of each other, both personally and professionally.

As members of the profession of arms, we have a non-negotiable requirement to get the job done and done right the first time! In our profession, the alternative to success may easily be a direct and lasting impact on our way of life ... and that simply must not happen.

Each individual, and every team, in the unit must make it their own personal goal to successfully meet these three expectations head-on every single day. When everyone gets behind these ideas and builds on this fundamental foundation, mission success becomes much more a certainty than it would had individuals not taken the time to get to know those working around them. Unfortunately, we see instances all too often where even the best of performers forget one or more of these fundamental concepts.

When those lapses occur, it falls to leaders at every level to take action and get the individual and their team back on track. Sometimes that course correction may be as simple as a gentle suggestion that an alternate approach would be more professional, or that a kind word and calm approach may be more appropriate. In other cases, that gentle nudge may be replaced by a more forceful response that falls into the administrative, non-judicial or judicial realm. Whatever the response, that course correction is absolutely necessary to ensure we meet our mission goals and, at the same time, live up to the trust and confidence placed in us by the American people.

What can you do? Keep these three simple but critical expectations in the back (or the front!) of your mind every day. Maintain your professionalism, give your all and be the example of treating others like you'd expect to be treated. Finally, those of you who are supervisors should never forget this is a two-way street and your subordinates will be watching each and every thing you do! If you incorporate actions that meet these expectations into your day to day life, both on and off duty, you'll never go wrong.

Expectations for the 90 MW:

· Maintain your professionalism on and off duty
· Give 100 percent
· Treat others as you would like to be treated

It's really that simple -- and it's a two-way street

Col. Greg Tims
90th Missile Wing commander