Chief's Corner December - Are You Ready?
By Chief Master Sgt. Michael Fleck, 130th Airlift Wing
/ Published December 01, 2018
McLaughlin Air National Guard Base, W.Va. --
Unless you have been living under a rock you have probably heard countless times that “personnel readiness” is of utmost importance, and as such it is at the top of a list of priorities set forth by Wing leadership. For most Airmen in the wing, I’m sure readiness seems pretty simple; turn in a completed dental form once a year, attend all medical appointments, get a flu shot, ensure all ancillary training is completed on time, complete required upgrade training, etc.
All of these requirements indeed help to ensure Airmen of the 130th Airlift Wing remain ready at a moment’s notice to answer our nation and state’s call. However, if you have ever worked for or with me you have probably heard me say more than once, “always be ready, you never know what the future holds.”
I first heard this statement as a young airman, but didn’t fully comprehend what it implied. I was always one of the first to ensure all of my medical requirements, ancillary training, and job specific training was completed on time. In my eyes I was ready to go, but was I really ready? Is that all there was to it? Unfortunately, for many Airmen this is where their state of readiness ends, when in fact there is more to be done in order to be fully ready.
Being fully ready also includes ensuring you are working towards full development as a leader and are ready to take on the responsibilities associated with your next potential promotion. Unfortunately, there are many instances in which an individual could have been promoted but had not enrolled in or completed the required Professional Military Education (PME), or had not pursued their Community College of the Air Force degree in order to fully qualify for the promotion. Throughout my 30 year career, I have heard a multitude of excuses as to why an individual’s PME has not been completed. The excuses range from being too busy with other life events to no promotion potential in their section. These excuses take me back to my previous statement of always being ready because you cannot always predict when a promotion opportunity will come your way!
I challenge each and every Airman in the 130th Airlift Wing to ensure if and when you are eligible for PME and that you complete it immediately and without hesitation. Don’t let opportunities pass you by! Do it to ensure your readiness and the readiness of the entire 130th Airlift Wing.
I would like to close this article with a question I like to ask Airmen I encounter. The question is this, when does a good airman need a haircut? If you do not know the answer, stop by my office and I’ll give it to you.