June Chief's Concerns
By Chief Master Sgt. Ronald W. Peelman Jr., 169th Maintenance Group
/ Published May 29, 2015
MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. -- In the almost 31 years I have served here at McEntire I still look up to watch airplanes take off and land. And yes, I still grin watching jets take off in burner at night. It never gets old. I truly believe we have some of the coolest jobs around. Being part of an elite group, the 169th Fighter Wing, working on and maintaining the latest and greatest F-16s is an awesome thing. As the aircraft maintenance night-shift superintendent, I have the opportunity to see highly skilled professionals hard at work troubleshooting and repairing discrepancies on the aircraft, getting them ready for the next flying period. Many of the tasks accomplished are highly technical that requires much attention to detail. These tasks are completed by highly skilled and experienced technicians, many times over, in many different parts of the world. If you are one of these people, be sure to impart your experience and knowledge to your subordinates. Keep in mind your subordinates are looking to you as the example. Be that example of the Air Force Core Values: Integrity First, Service before Self, and Excellence in Everything We Do. Teach it and live it. Here is an idea, pick up and read your copy of "The Little Blue Book". It is always good to review. As you teach and mentor these young troops you get to see your good training in action. With the high operations tempo and Aerospace Expeditionary Force deployment commitments we have, we must ensure we take the time to teach, train, and mentor our Airmen. I believe our survival depends on it. They will be our future leaders and supervisors. We have to ensure they are ready. We have to "coach'em up"!
Speaking of readiness, we are getting prepared for yet another deployment. Are you ready to go? We need to stay ready or "green" at all times if possible. You may have noticed when you opened Internet Explorer on your computer "Arc Net" came up. This is a program that shows you your current readiness status. It includes training status, physical training information and medical readiness. You now have access to your manage your own readiness. Look at it often.
Do not forget that readiness also includes being ready mentally and spiritually. Being away from home, your family, and friends can cause stress. Be a good Wingman. Pay close attention to the people you work with. Get to know the people you work with. Talk to them. Facebook and social media are ok. But you can't beat a little face-to-face talk or phone call just to check on a co-worker. Most especially if someone seems a little off the norm or something just doesn't seem right, ask questions. Don't let it go. There is help available.
Lastly, I want to speak on promotions. Promotions are a great thing. Everybody likes them. It signifies dedication and hard work. Always be ready. Have all of your "squares filled". This includes completing your upgrade training/Career Development Courses, Professional Military Education and now obtaining your Community College of the Air Force degree for Senior Master Sgt. and Chief Master Sgt. There are many opportunities available to get your CCAF. One way is to CLEP a required subject. Another way is to take on-line classes. Now in the works, CCAF required classes are to be given here at McEntire. Get your CCAF, complete your PME, fill your squares. Be ready. You never want to hear, "you could have been promoted but you did not have your PME done or your CCAF done." For more information, get in touch with the base training and education office. You may be closer to your CCAF degree than you think.