Corrective counseling

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey -- A few weeks ago, I approached a couple of Airmen that in my opinion were not being all they could be. I decided to take an approach that was successful in the past. The approach was to confront the individuals and correct the infractions.

The twist is to have the Airmen and supervisor report to their Chief to discuss the infractions, and then have the member and their supervisor report back to me for additional mentoring.

Now, I could have just corrected the infraction, but I think back to when I was growing up. There was nothing worse than having to go home and let my parents know what I had done - it was not pretty.

I feel the Airmen and their supervisors appreciated the fact that we (two Chiefs) enforced the standards, took the time to ensure they knew the standards, and more importantly, ensured they adhered to the standards. Both Airmen wrote articles and gave permission to have them published below, please enjoy.

The Wingman Philosophy
By Airman DeAndre Burks
39th Logistics Readiness Squadron

We are all tasked with different types of responsibilities that ensure the mission continues in our Air Force; being technically ready to accomplish our work and being physically ready to deploy at a moments notice are two. We all play a part in the "big scheme" of things whether as an airman basic or a command chief master sergeant. There is one responsibility that I feel has a major impact on the Air Force, and without it we cannot function. The Wingman philosophy is one of the major roles every person is entrusted with within our Air Force.

It's conducted on and off duty. Situations occur all the time where we need to implement our Wingman duties. But, we sometimes neglect doing what we need to do for our fellow Airmen. Thus, our mission cannot be completed because we failed in our duty. I personally know from experience that it can be hard to enforce these standards. We let our friends and family members convince us that nothing bad will happen and we don't want to ruin any type of fun they're having. We have to assess the situation and think about what would happen if the situation was to continue. From being intoxicated and disorderly to not complying with military standards, these types of problems hinder us from what's most important; protecting America's freedom. It is our responsibility as wingmen to assist our brethren in any or all situations. It shows the respect we have for each other and builds trust. With those qualities we excel. As wingmen, we will show service before self, integrity, and excellence in all we do.

Air Force Expectations
By Airman 1st Class Rodolfo Perez
39th Logistics Readiness Squadron

Joining the Air Force, I did not know what to expect. I just wanted to join for the benefits, the money, and just to get out of the house. I felt all I had to do was make it through basic and technical school and the rest would be a "breeze."

I still wanted to look the way and do all the things I used to do, but get paid and travel at the same time. In my civilian days I was what people would call a "pretty boy." I would always have earrings in my ear, shiny jewelry, grills in my mouth and so on. The Air Force has standards and it is such a big change from my civilian life to my military career.

During my first year, some of the rules and standards made no sense to me. Some of the things I was so used to doing are against military standards. Why can't I wear earrings off duty in my civilian attire, why can't I grow my hair out, why do I have to shave everyday? Why ... because I am an Airman in the U.S. Air Force.

I represent the Air Force all day, everyday. On or off base, on or off duty, I am a member of the Air Force and I have standards and regulations to abide by. I may think it's dumb now, but in the future I will realize the importance of following simple instructions. I know the Air Force does not put in these standards to make life for some Airman miserable; it's all a mental thing. How can I be trusted to do my job and to lead when I can't follow simple regulations?

I volunteered to join the Air Force, I am here to better myself. I might have times where I learn things the hard way, but that will just make me a better Airman. I had my share of getting in trouble for going against regulations that I thought weren't that big of a deal, but now I'm starting to understand. No one is perfect and to be productive you must learn from other's mistakes. My life as an Airman has been a big change, but it is all to better myself. I would rather have a great career in the Air Force than to sit at home doing nothing because I wanted to stay pretty. Air Force regulations are simple and I may have my trials and tribulations trying to understand them, but once I do, success is my only option.