Don't settle for just finishing the job

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Henry Myers Jr.
  • 49th Materiel Maintenance Group
Some time ago, I read a short story about the trials and tribulations suffered by the designers and builders of the Brooklyn Bridge. This is a great story that illustrates determination and pride in one's accomplishments. The title of this story is, The Test of a First-rate Work Is That You Finish It. After I finished reading it, I asked myself a question, "Do you finish what you start?" Of course the answer is yes, but then came a second question, "To what extent?"

Many times we view job completion as meeting the minimum requirements. Meet the bare minimum and move on to the next task and all is well, right? Wrong! When you continually strive to just meet the bare minimum, you resign yourself to mediocrity. You have just told yourself, your leadership and your subordinates that you are not interested in excellence. You have told them that you have settled to do just enough to get by, the bare minimum.

Every Airman is familiar with the Air Force Core Values: Integrity first, Service before self, and yes, Excellence in all we do. I'm continuously reminded of the motto on my first squadron's unit patch, "Pride Produces Quality." The meaning was clear. If you take pride in your work or anything else you do, you will produce a quality product every time, and your journey towards excellence will have begun.

The military -- the Air Force in particular -- is based on prescribed standards and whether we as Airmen meet or exceed these standards. As cliché as it may sound, exceeding the standard should be every Airman's standard. You should always strive to excel, to do more than what is just required. The quest to be the best demands we run that extra mile. It demands we do that extra push up or sit up and we take the extra step to ensure we achieve excellence in all we do. What it demands is that we don't settle for the bare minimum.

So what does this all mean to you? It means when you run your checklists for programs you are responsible for while preparing for the Consolidated Unit Inspection, ask yourself these three questions:

     · Am I proud of this program?
     · Is this my best effort?
     · Have I settled for the bare minimum?

Success during Holloman's CUI won't be achieved between Sept. 24-29. However, the preparations you make now will dictate how well Holloman will do during the inspection. Taking pride in your work now, will produce a positive outcome. I wish you all an OUTSTANDING CUI.