Start the New Year off on the right foot

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Errol Brown
  • 4th Logistics Readiness Squadron
Happy New Year fellow Airmen! Let me be one of many to welcome you to this new and prosperous year. Many of us begin the New Year celebrating accomplishments of 2006 while preparing for success in 2007. Some of us make resolutions to improve our quality of life, the well-being of those we care about, or to move one step closer to self-actualization.

Other things we focus on are knocking the operational readiness inspection out of the park, improving our unit, or becoming a better leader and/or follower. While many of us have individual goals we strive to attain, there are several goals I think we must share - supporting those who lead us, preparing those who follow us, and being ready for any and all challenges.

Our Air Force is changing as we undergo reductions, capitalize emerging weapon systems, and battle the global war on terrorism on multiple fronts. Virtually every unit has felt the impact of Presidential Budget Directive 720 as we make cuts to fund our future.

We also continually lead our Airmen in locations many of us never heard of before 9/11, and they are performing phenomenally. Our warriors are doing such amazing work inside and outside the wire that our sister services are asking for us by name. However, none of us can do this alone.

As part of Team Seymour, we all have our roles to play and we will not be successful if we are not committed to these roles. As leaders, there will be tough decisions to make and some of our Airmen may not understand them; some will question the decisions while others may have suggestions. We must be able to trust our leaders and have complete faith they are doing the right thing even if it is not obvious to us. Please don't confuse this with blindly following unlawful or unsafe orders, but realize we may not have all the information our leaders have.

As we prepare those who follow us, we are also preparing our future. What is the plan for the Airman we choose to fill our shoes and take our Air Force to the next level. Who do you want that Airman to be? Someone who takes shortcuts, is the boss' buddy, or works at half speed when no one is looking? Or do you want a high-speed Airman who cares for the mission as much as he or she cares for their people? We must teach and develop our Airmen through word and deed. We must also respect them as we wish to be respected; remember, they were men and women before they became Airmen and we will hold them accountable. They must know we will make the hard calls on EPRs, decorations, and reenlistment recommendations while being fair in all actions regardless of personalities involved because it is never personal. However, they must feel secure enough to come to us before challenges become problems and know we will make time to give them what they need - be it guidance, counsel, or a sounding board.

My final goal may appear to be the most difficult - be ready for any and all challenges. How do we prepare for the unknown? How do we anticipate an event completely alien to us or our frame of reference? Simple - use what we know is unshakably right coupled with a clear understanding of the desired outcome.

With our core values of integrity, service, and excellence as our foundation, any decisions based on these principles will be more right than wrong. Understanding the ethical rules which govern us as an individual and as an Air Force will lend itself to a decision process which is familiar to each of us. By asking the right questions; critically assessing the goal or objective; and seeing through the fog of war, competing objectives, or other distractions; there is no challenge we cannot successfully face and overcome.

Knowing many of you - if not all of you - share these goals, I'm confident our concerted efforts will push us through every obstacle and challenge faced in 2007 allowing us to look back and reflect on the monumental successes we all will be proud of. Again, Happy New Year warriors, and welcome to another year full of opportunities to lead and succeed!