Straight Talk: Commander's Intent|
Posted 1/26/2012 Updated 1/26/2012
Commentary by Col. Stacy L. Yike
66th Air Base Group commander
1/26/2012 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- Is your life a bit chaotic? Does it seem like all the rules, the taskers and the direction keep changing? Would you describe your professional world as resource-constrained? It is certainly true in my life, and in my conversations this week, that scenario sounds fitting for many others, as well.
So what do you do when you are getting so many different inputs and most of them conflict with each other? Most people will quickly come up with the textbook answer to go back and focus on what is important. But the hard part is figuring out what is important. You must identify what are the fundamental goals and objectives so that the rest of chaos has some context. When you truly understand those underpinning goals, then the rest of the chaos becomes significantly more manageable.
The military has the concept of commander's intent, which helps us focus on those underpinnings. A commander's intent has several different parts to it, so that you can gain the contextual understanding of how all the pieces fit together to execute your mission. Today, I will address just one aspect found in our commander's intent -- taking care of people.
The Chief of Staff of the Air Force has published his vector (you can find it online at www.af.mil/information/csaf/index.asp) and has a section called "A Commitment to Airmen" where he states, "Your dedication to mission performance - and each other - are the fundamental building blocks of unit morale. Getting the job done right for the American people must remain our daily inspiration."
He goes on to say, "We will continue to devote the necessary time and resources to develop Airmen who are prepared, individually and collectively, to solve the challenges of the future."
In addition, Lt. Gen. CR Davis, Electronic Systems Center commander, released his 2012 Commander's Intent, and he gives us further clarification on how to meet the CSAF's vector by stating, "During this period of historic change where some will face unprecedented levels of stress, I expect us all to take care of each other: Be an active and aggressive wingman, actively engage in fitness and enjoyable activities and look for opportunities to socialize as a unit and as a team."
One of the events we took on this week was focused specifically on meeting this intent: our unit-level stand down to address resiliency. It was an opportunity for unit members to put down the chaos for a few hours and practice being "active and aggressive wingmen" by engaging in discussions with, and learning about, each other.
I encourage you reflect on the discussions you had during recent Wingman Days and Resiliency Days. Use the insights you gleaned from your co-workers and leadership to take your commitment to your Airmen and your work unit to the next level to develop and prepare our people to solve the challenges of the future. It is hard work, but it is worth it.