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April Commander's Corner

Portrait of Lt.Col. Chris Gamble, commander of the 169th Maintenance Squadron, Arpil 27, 2011.
(National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Edward Snyder/RELEASED)

Portrait of Lt.Col. Chris Gamble, commander of the 169th Maintenance Squadron, Arpil 27, 2011. (National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Edward Snyder/RELEASED)

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, South Carolina -- In a recent ORE/ORI staff meeting, Chief Crowson said, "If you're bucking, you're not pulling." I thought this was applicable, in that, if your attitude is poor and you've lost the team effort concept, then you're not pulling your own weight. I do feel like we are a team and that it takes all of us to succeed, and our history proves that if we can maintain the right mindset, we can get through these exercises and inspection without any problems.

We will face many challenges over the remainder of the year, and unfortunately, will have only limited time to practice. This means that we need to step up and get it right the first time. Are you willing to give what it takes to get through this? Will you spend the extra hour coming in early or staying late to make sure the job is done? Will you help your coworkers by working together to reach our common goal?

Don't be the person who lacks a sense of urgency; but the one who takes every task and scenario to the end to the best of their ability. Attitude is contagious, so if yours is negative, you must realize that you're affecting others. If you see a negative behavior or pattern, step in and be assertive to make a change. These are the expectations, and the more positively we get through the hard parts, the sooner we can enjoy the real reasons we decided to join this organization. Let's do what we have always done over the last several years, ADAPT!

A lot of people are in new jobs and are learning different tasks, while inspection criteria are ever-changing. We must learn from our mistakes, and keep them, as well as stress, to a minimum. We must also learn to appreciate constructive criticism; a trait that will serve you well for the rest of your life. If you learn to appreciate a different point of view, you will open yourself up to a whole new level of self improvement. Also, learn to give constructive criticism well, and criticize people the way you would want to be criticized.

Most importantly, don't forget to thank your personnel for the job they have done. Showing appreciation for what they do is key to providing and spreading a positive atmosphere in the workplace. Don't take anyone's individualism, personality, or skills for granted. Take the time to write an award or mention an achievement during roll calls. Celebrate your people and their work.

We must also do our part by ensuring that the behind-the-scenes stuff is taken care of - including CBTs and ancillary training. Make sure information is relayed up and down the chain, forms are taken care of, gas mask inspection tags are signed, medical requirements are met, and much more. Don't wait until the last minute for ANYTHING! That is not going to make us successful.

This inspection is all about details and squaring off the corners. We must be proactive, and take personal responsibility in everything we do. Everyone has a job to do, so let's get this behind us as quickly and smoothly as possible. We should be proud that we are constantly used as a model of excellence for other units, squadrons, and bases to follow. Let's keep it up! We all have our part in this and each one is just as important in helping us rise or fall. From the student flight to the Wing Commander, every action counts. We are all in this together.