CGOC members learn from SNCOs, take away helpful advice

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Justin Bucy
  • 90 Medical Readiness Flight Commander
The Company Grade Officers' Council gained insight from three Senior NCOs during a recent lunch meeting at the base bowling alley's Missile Grill Dec. 12.

Chief Master Sgt. Michael Garrou, 90th Missile Wing command chief; Chief Master Sgt. Shawn Drinkard, 90th Missile Security Forces Squadron chief; and Master Sgt. Daniel Flint, 90th Force Support Squadron first sergeant, shared some of their advice with a group of approximately 10 CGOs and followed up with a question-and-answer session.

The following is a list of the key items discussed at the luncheon.

1. Make no mistake who is in charge of the shop. Let there be no question. Officers and NCOs/senior NCOs may disagree. If so, do it behind closed doors and come out singing with one voice from the same sheet of music. Any discord or disconnect will undermine officers' authority and credibility. Everybody in the shop should know where the buck stops.

2. Read, understand, embrace and enforce the Professional Development Guide and Enlisted Force Structure manual. Understanding these materials is particularly imperative as enlisted Airmen increase in rank and level of authority. Everyone needs to fully understand what is expected of the enlisted corps, and be able to speak intelligently regarding them. Enlisted personnel need to be well versed in what they are expected to know and how their promotion structure works.

3. Establish a culture from the point of inception. If the officer-in-charge doesn't, who will? Encourage respectful openness and honesty. Foster ingenuity and empower them to make decisions and hold responsibility.

4. Be transparent, consistent and level-headed -- no surprises. One never wants subordinates guessing where they stand. It is critical to conduct feedbacks religiously. The first time they find out they are getting ranked a four on an EPR shouldn't be when they receive the four.

5. Airmen do not live or work in an environment of entitlement. Medals and "firewall fives" are earned, not lost. Airmen do not start with either, but must earn both. Set very explicit, clear, high but achievable expectations for those you rate.

6. Officers are judged and graded by the performance of our shops. Hold NCOs/SNCOs accountable for the performance of their subordinates. The way the subordinates perform is a direct reflection on the way the NCOs/SNCOs manage, lead and guide.

7. Never pass up an opportunity to grow.

8. Celebrate the great things Airmen do. Too often the focus is on the things they do wrong. Praise in public. Reform in private.

9. PT is the new way of life -- live it. Expect others to live it.

10. Never underestimate the ability to inspire others and make an impact in their lives. People are always watching leaders.

11. Never use phrases like "we have to do this because the commander said so." Just like in item one, we must sing off the same sheet of music as they do in order to inspire confidence and followership in us.

12. Airmen should either be outstanding or out-processing. Contribute to one or the other. We must give them all the tools they need to succeed and grow. Give them responsibilities and calculated opportunities to succeed or fail. Not everybody who joins is Air Force material.

13. There is a difference between an E-7 and a master sergeant, an E-8 and a senior master sergeant, an E-9 and a chief master sergeant. Seek out and find the master sergeant, senior master sergeant and chief master sergeant. They will make a tremendous impact in your career.

14. Make sure Airmen understand that when they go home and take off the uniform, they are not simultaneously taking off the Air Force.