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December Chief's Perspective

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Troy Hammond, 245th Air Traffic Control Squadron, South Carolina Air National Guard at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, May 19, 2015.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Caycee Watson/Released)

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Troy Hammond, 245th Air Traffic Control Squadron, South Carolina Air National Guard at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, May 19, 2015. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Caycee Watson/Released)

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. --

Hello Swamp Foxes! First, I'd like to start by welcoming all of our recent deployers home and thanking each of you and your families for your service and sacrifice. Let’s take a moment and remember our fellow Airmen that are in harm’s way and won’t be home with their friends and families this season. As we come out of celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends, I hope you’re planning some down time mov­ing into the Christmas and New Year season.

Professionalism has been defined as the key to any job, but perhaps more so when it comes to the military. The nature of war itself, perhaps the most brutal and destructive force facing mankind, requires that those who do the fighting, do so with extreme levels of discipline, commitment, and skill. Such things are the essence of military professionalism.

I would like to share a few tips about professionalism.

Time Management. Make it a point to be on time. When you arrive late for work or meetings without a good reason or excuse, it gives your boss and co-workers the impression you don’t care about them and certainly don’t respect them or their time. Always plan to show up at least a few minutes early. Also, it’s important that you’re prepared when you arrive at the meeting. The same logic applies to deadlines set for you or set by you. Ensure you finish that project on time. Being late and missing deadlines leads to the belief that you don’t care for the project or lack work ethic.

Be Accountable. Hold yourself and others accountable. We all make mistakes, but it’s important to own your mistakes and take accountability. Even if it’s a shared mistake, take responsibility for your actions. Set the example so that those who share responsibility for the mistake can step forward and admit their part. If it’s a mistake that can be corrected, fix it. If you don’t know how, ask for help. Learn from your mistakes. Try not to make the same mistakes twice because that shows a lack of care, respect, and/or understanding on your part.

Organization. You want to have a clean and organized desk and/or shop so that you can easily find what you’re looking for. You want an organized and coordinated desktop and filing system so that you can easily find what you’re looking for as soon as it’s asked of you. Being organized saves you time and energy. Don’t leave unnecessary papers or unrelated documents lying around when attending a meeting or conference. Don’t have personal files or projects out in the open for co-workers and others to see. 

Correspondence. This goes for written and oral correspondences. It’s important you articulate yourself and are direct when speaking. It happens to everyone, but try not to say “like,” “um,” or “uh” too often as this might seem unprofessional. When it comes to emails and other written communication, be direct and concise.

Professionalism is highly valued and applying these rules will surely make us better Airmen.

“Always do right-this will gratify some and astonish the rest” Mark Twain

Thank you for all that you do! I wish each and every one of you and your families Happy Holidays.

Semper Primus