Thursday, July 30, 2009

'Just do it' ... it works in all aspects of life

The following commentary was published in the Commander's Corner of Sandy Hog Gazette (111th Fighter Wing newspaper), August 2009 public online PDF issue:

By Lt. Col. Bill Griffin, 103rd Fighter Squadron Commander

If you just do your job correctly, it all works. Every person in the wing is relied upon to do their job correctly. Unit Manning Documents (UMDs) are built to work but only if you are trained and actually do your job. This concept starts with the Soldier, Sailor, Marine or Airman on the ground with a gun in his hand and goes through every link in the chain and you're one of those links.

Just do your job first then if you have time, help somewhere else you have experience. Just realize you might not be the Subject Matter Expert anymore and AFIs change so be careful with the "help" you provide. Most of the write ups found in any inspection come directly from guidance in an AFI not being followed. Lesson Learned: get in the books.

JUST DO IT. The 111 FW just did it - extremely well, again. The IG inspectors were impressed by the attitudes of our unit members, and rightly so. You should roam confidently knowing you're part of a winning team. Attitude goes a long way – either way, positive or negative, so you may as well have a positive attitude. Positive attitudes paid huge dividends on this last inspection and positive attitudes will take us safely and efficiently to the end of the A-10 mission. As long as we fly even just one jet, we must do the job like we are preparing for combat – lives depend on it. While we will not deploy in combat in the A-10 again, a small number of pilots, maintainers and weapons loaders will deploy to MacDill later this year to spin up Joint Terminal Area Controllers (JTACs) who will. This will require every member of the 111 FW to do their job as if the entire
squadron was deploying.

We must set the JTACs up to win on the battlefield. Vince Lombardi said "Winning isn't everything. It's the only thing." And he was just talking about a football game. Basics – get back to basics and do them well, and I will assure you success.

We understand the stresses around here. We are all in this together and on the same team, so take care of yourself first and provide mutual support to your teammates. Manage stress – go to the gym, run, swim, but do something to affect a positive means of managing stress. Do something to challenge yourself and go beyond your comfort level – learn a new hobby, skill or sport, but do it smartly and learn from someone fully trained and accredited in the activity. Be goal oriented but set timelines and goals that are attainable. For whatever reason, we now call the same old stuff by new names and think we're on to something. ORM (Operational Risk Management) used to be called "common sense." Either way, get it and employ

So far this article reads like something out of Airman Magazine, so in that spirit I'll continue with "Finish Strong." While I'm not a fan of some of the Air Force's goofy slogans, this one applies, especially as we enter our final year of aviation. The 103rd Fighter Squadron just celebrated its 85th birthday in June. And while the 103rd Observation Squadron has grown into the 103rd Fighter Squadron, our goal is to go out with dignity and the throttles pushed up doing things right. It will take the work of every 111 FW member to make that happen so, in short, JUST DO IT.


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