base information

Don’t wait to be told what you know needs to be done

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- When I first arrived at the 391st Fighter Squadron as an airman, the first words my flight chief told me were, "If you see something that needs to be done, do it." Sure, it was a different time back then. Sure, I was one of only two females on the flightline. Sure, there was a glass ceiling. That was 14 years ago, but the saying still holds true and it has never failed me.

It started out simply with things like taking the trash out without waiting to be told, and as my confidence level increased, so did my ability to see what needed to be done. First off, at 5'4" and 127 pounds back then, I soon realized I would not be able to perform my duties as an aircraft maintainer if I could not keep up with the guys, so I hit the gym hard and within six months I gained eight pounds and could easily outperform most of my peers when strength was required for a job. I saw what needed to be done, and I did it.

My next stripe was soon sewn on, and as soon as roll call was finished, I would approach the expeditor and ask what jobs were on the list to be done. I would take the list the expeditor gave me, walk outside and pick up my technical order box and tool box that were checked out prior to roll call and carry them to every job. I did not wait for a ride or go to the smoke pit; I got on the job as soon as I could. I would approach a job with open eyes and set out to complete it thoroughly. This later proved to be invaluable when inspections rolled around. Inspections could be completed in record time due to a vigilant eye and some good preventive maintenance.

My point to all of this simply is, don't wait to be told what you know needs to be done. Be the go getter and if you see something that needs to be done, don't wait. Fix things you see on a day-to-day basis. Make it a habit. You will never regret doing the right thing.