Discipline, have we lost it?

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. James Sanders
  • 8th Fighter Wing command chief
Discipline, what does it mean to you?

According to www.freedictonary.com, discipline simply means "training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior" or "a systematic method to maintain obedience."

All military members receive training throughout our careers on standards and enforcement of standards, so why do we see infractions each and every day across the base? These infractions range from dress and appearance violations to ignoring customs and courtesies.

Do you think it is someone else's job to stop that individual and correct them? Actually, it is every military member's job to correct these infractions. If we do not take a few minutes to correct the infractions, then we are passively reinforcing that it is OK to wear that red backpack in uniform, not render a salute when appropriate, or commit any other infraction.

We are all guilty of not taking the time to stop the individual and correct the issue. It may be because we are running late, we are not the confrontational type or we simply believe someone else will take care of it. Enforcing standards takes the concentrated effort of each and every person on the base, ranging from our wing leadership to our newest Airman.

Approaching a senior-ranking military member to inform them of an infraction can be very intimidating to some. The key is to respectfully approach the individual and explain the situation. The same goes for confronting a member of equal or lower rank. Most of us do not get up each day and purposely violate standards; however over time we may let our standards slip and we need a reminder to make a correction.

It really is up to each and every one of us to correct those who violate the standards. It is not just the senior NCO's or the first sergeant's job, it is something we all must do because it is our duty.

What we do each day is more than a job -- we are all members of a profession, the military profession. A profession is an organization that polices its own members. If we do not do this, then we stand the chance our losing our status as professionals. I know the Wolf Pack has plenty of professionals, so we can't let the violations of a few jeopardize the status of the many.

In closing, I leave you with a simple phrase made up of ten, two-letter words that I learned at the Chief Master Sergeant's Orientation: "If it is to be, it is up to me." This simple phrase can be applied to all facets of life. I challenge each one of you to get out there and apply this phrase in the enforcement of standards, so everyone who steps foot on Kunsan Air Base clearly understands they are in the company of professionals.