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October Chief's Concerns

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Bruce Thompson, 169th Civil Engineer Squadron at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, South Carolina Air National Guard, Sept. 19, 2015.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Caycee Watson/RELEASED)

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Bruce Thompson, 169th Civil Engineer Squadron at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, South Carolina Air National Guard, Sept. 19, 2015. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Caycee Watson/RELEASED)

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. -- Are you really prepared?  Is your axe sharpened?

Since I joined the South Carolina Air National Guard in 1984, I have learned countless lessons through both peers and mentors alike. There are a couple of lessons in particular that have stuck with me over the years: use the proper tool for the job and be prepared for anything. You should achieve readiness in regards to serving your country as well as managing your personal matters. You are given tools to aide you, and it is your responsibility to fully utilize them.

Abraham Lincoln, one of the most important presidents in American history, believed in using the right tools to get the job done and being prepared. His quote, "Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe," can be applied to every facet of your personal and professional life.  

Preparing for success takes time and effort. The SCANG has presented you with the tools. It is up to you to use them correctly and to sharpen them continuously. You are assigned to a supervisor who plays a vital role in your professional development and success; however, "you" must do your part to enhance overall mission readiness and channel your ambition toward building an extraordinary unit. Take a few minutes this drill weekend and evaluate the tools with which you have been provided and put them to work! During this assessment, make sure you look at all areas within your scope: Professional Military Education, physical fitness test and training. Are you current in all areas? What do you need to do to be better prepared? Which tools need to be sharpened? Once you assess your situation, take action!  

Although we have been lucky enough to have had plenty of notice with past and pending deployments, we must remember the nature of our job. It is impossible to know when we will be called upon to leave last minute for a long deployment or a short temporary duty. Your personal obligations and your family must be taken care of prior to your departure. Mission success relies on you and your ability to be prepared. Ensuring personal affairs are squared away is crucial to that success. Having your personal matters in order plays an important role in safeguarding the welfare of our homeland. Evaluate your personal situation to guarantee "you" and your family is ready!   

Just like Abe Lincoln, "you" must take the time to prepare and "you" must put forth the effort to ensure you have the right tool for the job. When you are using the correct tools for the job and take the time to make sure you are prepared, both professionally and personally, you contribute greatly the success of the SCANG, and the success of all U.S. military branches across the nation! Do "your" part, take time to prepare and sharpen "your" axe!