Roll Call and You

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Wendy Hansen
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing command chief
In September, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force, James Cody, announced Roll Call as an expectation for Air Force members. For some it is new concept, in other units they are dusting off their process and there are those out there that never let it die. Regardless of where you are starting from, Roll Call is a requirement from here on out.

Roll call? At its most basic, roll call is the act of calling off a list of names to ensure everyone is present.

Roll Call in the United States Air Force? So much more than that! Roll Call is the opportunity to put eyes on each other, to say hi and ask how the weekend went, to see if the colicky baby is feeling better. Bottom line: it is our chance to touch base and get a feel for whether everything is alright with our Wingmen.

Roll Call, the publication? A simple and straight forward tool provided by senior leadership to drive discussion. As stated on the latest release, "Airman's Roll Call is designed for supervisors at all levels to help keep Airmen informed on current issues, clear up confusion, dispel rumors, and provide additional face-to-face communication between supervisors and their teams."

The first issue of Roll Call was published in September and in it, Cody emphasized three expectations:
1. The Air Staff will provide Roll Call topics as needed, but no less than monthly.
2. The expectation is for supervisors and leaders to conduct daily or weekly Roll Calls as appropriate in their unit.
3. Roll Calls are face-to-face discussions about the latest topics so each and every Airman knows and understands how they contribute and how important they are to our Air Force mission.

Whether your organization is a team of three or a flight of 150, your Roll Call should be a deliberate, standardized, value added to part of your day. The topics will differ based on the unit and commander's intent, but the possibilities are endless:
  • Accountability
  • Review obligations (training, appointments, etc.)
  • Highlight upcoming unit, wing, and Team Fairchild events
  • Discuss positive and negative trends
  • Immediately and publicly recognize innovation and excellence
  • Discuss strategic issues as they become concerns (TA, roll back, CJR, etc.)
  • Provide training or safety tips of the day to maintain focus
  • Hails and farewells
It does not matter whether it takes place Monday mornings at 7:30 a.m. or every duty day at 5:50 p.m., Roll Call helps establish and maintain the critical balance between social media interaction and personal connections.

Noncommissioned officers - this is on you! Roll Call is not a commander's program. Roll Call is not going to be inspected or even discussed at a staff meeting. It is a base line expectation that only first line leaders can enact and enable. The November edition of Roll Call focuses on Developmental Special Duties, where the program is at now and how we should approach it going forward. I encourage you to read it and use it as a platform for discussion and to answer the questions that are out there.

Roll Call is an important part of your week and relevant in ways other mass communication cannot be: the content is controlled entirely by you. Be deliberate, but be flexible and build a program that enables supervisory oversight, while at the same time enriching everyone's day.