Be accountable

Chief Master Sgt. Charles Fletcher, 314th Maintenance Group superintendent

Chief Master Sgt. Charles Fletcher, 314th Maintenance Group superintendent

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- "I'm not the regular crew chief." "It's not my program." "They didn't count all my push-ups." "This isn't my normal job."

How many of you have heard, or maybe even used, these excuses when your performance didn't measure up? We are all accountable to someone: to our commanders, organizations, country and taxpayers. Even our president is accountable to the people of the United States. We are accountable for our personal lives and our families, so why not make sure we are accountable as professionals?

We are all part of the Air Force team and individual accountability is critical to teamwork and the execution of our mission. Everyone has to do their part in order for the Air Force to be successful and this means being accountable for our duties and responsibilities.

You can compare this to a football team. If the offensive line doesn't block the opposing defense, then the quarterback gets sacked and the team doesn't score. You see they are accountable to one another. The Air Force is no different and is even more critical depending on the situation.

If the crew chief doesn't do a good inspection on an aircraft and it aborts then the pilot won't be successful in performing the mission. This could be the difference between life and death in the combat zone. This is one example of accountability.

One thing leaders can't forget is that not only are we accountable to those above us, but also to those who work for us.

To quote Stephen Covey, the author if the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, "Accountability breeds response-ability." And we are responsible and accountable up and down the chain of command. Leaders are accountable to their subordinates for their training and mentoring.

Supervisors are accountable to their Airmen to ensure they have all the tools to get the job done and to ensure they are given sufficient time for meals and rest between tasks when necessary. They also need to hold their Airmen accountable when they don't meet established standards. Finally, you also need to be accountable to yourself by staying in good physical shape, expanding your knowledge or education and continually improving your work performance.

So let's stop making excuses and be accountable.