Doing the basics

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. David Nordel
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Command Chief Master Sergeant
Can you imagine getting up to go to work today and forgetting to put on your socks? It would make you uncomfortable, you might get a blister, and you would be out of uniform. The reason we put our socks on is that it is a basic thing we do to complete our uniform and keep ourselves healthy and safe so that we can function properly.

The basics we do in the defense of our nation should be no different: It starts with standards, customs and courtesies, and following direction and guidance. Unfortunately, we have gotten away from the basics in some areas, and the basics, or "blocking and tackling," have become focus points for our Chief of Staff of the Air Force and the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force. The events with handling nuclear weapons might have been prevented if the basics had been adhered to.

Why do I bring this up from where I sit? Well, as we bring our new wing commander, Col. Robert Thomas on board, he has imparted his basic vision for the wing. It is to have a well defined successful association with the Washington Air National Guard and a successful Operational Readiness Inspection. As I thought about how we can best accomplish that, it seemed very easy..."Do the basics." In the Air Force we are great at change and making things happen. We do this by repeating successful steps from similar events... repeat the basics!

The change of command might be the best example I have seen in a long time. It was by far the best one I have ever been to. It had a lot of fancy maneuvers and scripted events in the program, but what I saw was the basics of commanding, marching and teamwork coming together to make the event memorable. The basics are what made the event standout, just like they will for the operational readiness inspection and the classic association with the 141st Air Refueling Wing.

The basics in our day-to-day lives as Airmen are more important now than ever before. If we learn and repeat the basics of leadership, supervision and work responsibilities, it takes care of a lot of issues we get concerned with. If the frontline supervisor is focused on the basics of his or her mission, people and resources, then the rest of what challenges us becomes easier, just like the fancy parts of the change of command.

My first two months here with Team Fairchild have been absolutely awesome, and the men and women of this wing never stop amazing me with their dedication and unbelievable professional approach to defending our nation and taking care of one another. It is an awesome honor to be your command chief and I look forward to making our goals your doing the basics.

Chief out!