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“Hit it out of the park”

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Jamie Kelly
  • 90th Missile Wing Inspector General Office
As America's pastime sport quickly enters its new season, baseball pitchers across America prepare for the season in hopes of making it to, and winning, the World Series. This can also be said about the Air Force and their preparation to be inspection ready.

In order to be successful in both, it takes evaluation and preparation. As we started the new year, we were approximately 20 months into a new Air Force Inspection System that involves everyone in the 90th Missile Wing.

Throughout this time, Airmen conducted continuous evaluations through self-assessments of their programs and identified compliance, reported non-compliance and come up with plans for potential corrective actions.

This continuous evaluation is not the wing inspecting itself or having the major command dropping by every two years to conduct inspections. It's a combination of the wing's critical self-assessment on mission readiness, improvement processes, leadership and resources.

In order to be inspection ready, every Airman must mentally prepare the same as a major league pitcher does before the big game. Before the game, pitchers make every effort to eliminate any failure, fear or anxiety as these negative feelings will only hinder their performance on the baseball field. The same practice should take place for any Airman prior to an inspection.

Every one of us has some fear of failure, but with excellent mental preparation, we are able to "get in the zone." This is when distractions disappear. We become entirely focused on the task at hand.

A pitcher who is mentally prepared will see nothing but the pathway to the catcher's glove. They will evaluate every movement taken, from positioning the ball in the glove to the release of the ball and it's flight to the catcher's glove.

An Airman focused on the mission will see nothing but the pathway to success. When this is achieved, winning is inevitable.

At this point, your focus should be on how you are going to help your team win. There are times when you are going to feel like you are on the mound all by yourself, but you must keep the bigger picture in mind. It's not about individual accomplishments. It's about how you have contributed to the mission and helped your team succeed.

Every Airman is responsible to not only inspect themselves, but also their unit and environment.

A pitcher reviews the opposing team before a game and looks at their statistics to better understand what he is up against. Airmen can prepare themselves the same way by reviewing instructions, regulations, technical orders and manuals.

Keep in mind every game has the potential for a few curve balls. Much as a relief pitcher may be called upon to pitch at any moment, with little time to warm-up or mentally prepare, Airmen are not always given the opportunity to know exactly when the inspector general will be conducting an inspection. We need to be inspection ready at all times.

Be confident in the work you have done, welcome the inspection with a positive attitude and hit it out of the park!