Basically, it's all about attitude, attitude, attitude

  • Published
  • By Col. Scott Henderson
  • 45th Launch Group commander
By now, you've heard the word - the IG may be coming as early as this summer. I know what you are thinking...highest ops tempo in years, inspection failures on the rise across the command, budget cuts, audit are we going to deliver the standard of excellence the 45th Space Wing is known for? The answer lies in three simple words - attitude, attitude, attitude.

The first thing we need to realize is that when the ORI/Compliance team hits Patrick, it is not business as usual - it is the business of war, the business of hustle, the business of doing our very best, the business of attitude! Our initial reaction to the IG's "first punch" will set the stage for the entire inspection. A "fix it on the spot" mentality showing max effort to meet the standards will very often help you avoid an error or write-up.

Let me illustrate the role of attitude using an example from our 2007 compliance inspection. The IG team dropped in and immediately began reviewing our medical records to see if we were compliant with AF and AFSPC guidance. At the end of the day on Saturday, they identified a medical form (the famed form 1042) that was missing a date. This was looking like a major finding. But wait - our sharp director of operations got on the phone, got our medical group engaged, and a flight doc rushed in to re-do the form early Sunday morning. By the time the IG returned the next day, the problem had been solved - attitude and hustle saved a major write-up!

I'm convinced attitude is the major differentiator between a "satisfactory" and an "outstanding" rating. What can you do to display the right attitude in your section? I offer six simple rules:

1. Every day is "Day One": this means we are at the same max effort on the last day as we were on the first day of the inspection.

2. "Run to the ball": if you see an issue, fix it. If a wingman needs help, step up. An ORI is a team sport, don't be afraid to ask for or offer help!

3. Move with a sense of urgency and act as if everything is real world.

4. Maximize demonstration and participation: don't tell the inspector what you would do - do it! Go until the task is complete.

5. Use the checklist: no extra credit for going it alone without your regs, job aids, and checklists, use every tool at your disposal.

6. Fight the scenario, not the inspectors - don't argue with the evaluators. Be professional and clarify the scenario without being combative.

This wing has the reputation of being the very best in Air Force Space Command. This summer we will have an opportunity to once again reign supreme. How we will do is all about attitude!