Excellence is attainable: Lead by example

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Kimberly Armijo
  • 8th Maintenance Squadron first sergeant
The great football coach, Vince Lombardi, once said, "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

With Kunsan's Consolidated Unit Inspection upon us, this is something all Wolf Pack members should take to heart. I believe excellence is attainable and something we can all strive for.

One way to do this is by leading by example, no matter what rank you are. Every Airman, no matter the amount of stripes on your sleeve or insignia or on your collar, can be a leader.

When the Pacific Air Forces Inspector General team is inspecting our programs and looking at our procedures, they will look to see if individuals are leading by example. This means following checklists, correcting errors and following proper procedures. The IG team will not care how long you have been at Kunsan or what your rank is.

Every day, we are all given the opportunity to be a leader, no matter your job or Air Force specialty code. Being a leader means doing what is right and stopping others when you see them doing something incorrect. This could be as simple as telling your coworker to take his hands out of his pockets because they are not following Air Force Instruction 36-2903, "Dress and Appearance of Air Force Personnel." Or it could mean stopping a maintenance task because they are not following tech data.

Speaking up when you see someone doing something incorrect is being a good leader and leading by example.

When I go around the base and I correct individuals for dress and appearance violations, I often wonder how many people the individual passed by before they got to me. If someone had corrected the violation, before it got to me then it may have saved not only a few minutes of time, but also some embarrassment. A first sergeant is not the only person who can correct individuals on improper dress and appearance -- anyone can do it.

Being a good leader means not looking the other way and ignoring the problem.

A leader must also know the rules in order to lead by example. Before doing any maintenance tasks, an individual must review the appropriate tech data for any changes. The same rules apply when a new AFI comes out that affects you or the programs you own. Reviewing the governing instructions, supplements, and orders means that you understand and can comply with all of them.

A good leader cannot complete a task, train someone, or correct someone if they do not read and heed all of the rules. Using the phrase "I didn't know I was supposed to do it that way" is unacceptable when there are rules we all have to follow, regardless of your rank.

Being a good leader and doing everything correctly, as it should be, will stand out to the IG team. Small details, such as properly saluting staff vehicles and wearing your uniform properly, will also stand out to the IG. These basic ideals demonstrate leadership, no matter your rank and will help the base strive for excellence.

We have all worked long hours to prepare for this inspection and I know that we are ready for the IG team. Leadership at all ranks is key as we strive for excellence.

All members of the Wolf Pack must hold themselves accountable and lead by example, no matter your rank. Even though we will never be perfect, excellence is definitely within reach and something we can accomplish and be very proud of.

Defend the base ... Accept follow on forces ... Take the fight north!