LRS gets back to basics

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Siuta B. Ika
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs
George Bernard Shaw, an Irish playwright, once wrote, "We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future."

At Holloman AFB, one squadron has taken a step to ensure its members not only have a bright future, but also take pride in the Air Force's tradition-rich history.

"Every month, our squadron performs an open-ranks inspection," said Tech. Sgt. Ray Lara, 49th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels training and support NCO in charge. "We do this to not only identify uniform discrepancies, but to get back to the basics of honoring our heritage as Airmen. We are all professionals, and it's important that we look the part when we put on the uniform every day, because otherwise we would be disrespecting our past and all those who came before us."

During each formal inspection, representatives of all grades in both the enlisted and officer tiers are chosen from every 49th LRS flight to have their uniforms inspected. Each individual's demerits are logged, and at the end of the inspection, the flight whose individuals accumulated the fewest total number of demerits wins the traveling trophy and bragging rights for the month.

"It may be a competition, but it really brings us all together and helps build camaraderie between the different flights," said Master Sgt. Jennifer Morgan, 49th LRS flight services center section chief. "It's also nice to be a part of this because it's a tradition that we're introduced to in basic and tech school, but with the exception of (professional military education), we don't really do a whole lot of formal open-ranks inspections."

The overall goal of the inspections, Lara said, is to highlight the importance of personal responsibility and attention to detail.

"Attention to detail and personal responsibility really go hand-in-hand because they both are important in everything we do, no matter how insignificant a task may seem," Lara said. "If you look at this base and everything that goes on here, you may see the big picture, but have no idea about all of the work that was done by individuals leading up to the finished product. That's why it's so important that we always put our best foot forward whether it's in a combat situation where lives are at risk, or if it's ensuring our uniforms look sharp for an open-ranks inspection."

Although the vehicle maintenance, fuels, and deployment distribution flights were all recognized as the past months' winning flights, the squadron also awards an individual with the "Sharpest Airman of the Month" award.

Like Lara, the inaugural "Sharpest Airman of the month" award winner, Airman 1st Class John Stringer, 49th LRS vehicle maintenance technician, also believes the open-ranks inspections are important to 49th LRS Airmen of all ranks.

"We have a lot of people who work hard and take pride in what we do, so performing these kinds of inspections and keeping our informs sharp is just a part of that," Stringer said.