Accountability: Link to mission success

  • Published
  • By Col. Wyn Elder
  • 62nd Airlift Wing commander
My guess is if you were to think about an accident, incident, mishap or misstep, the underlining culprit would be accountability. Accountability lies at the heart of both mission accomplishment and professionalism. It is about holding ourselves to the highest standards, not because of threat of discipline, but because we want to hold ourselves to the highest standards of excellence.

Excellence and accountability go hand-in-hand. They form the basis for the profession of arms. Excellence is written into our core values, it is a driving force behind our wing motto, and it is part of who we are. But to attain, and maintain, excellence requires that we hold ourselves to lofty standards... the standard of excellence. To do that requires we hold ourselves and our fellow Airmen to those standards. It's what makes ours an elite profession.

Accountability should be woven into everything you do; accountability to yourself, your fellow Airmen, our mission, your family and, finally accountability to this great nation. As a member of the armed services, our country expects nothing less. And accountability is not limited to life and death situations. Accountability spans the spectrum from airdropping life-saving supplies to troops in Afghanistan and stopping to pick up a piece of trash in the hallway, to taking the keys away from an Airmen who has had too much to drink. It's filing travel vouchers properly and wearing the uniform correctly.

Our conduct, every day, is what defines us as professionals. It's why the American public repeatedly views the U.S. military as the most highly respected institution in the country. However, when we stop holding ourselves accountable, and stop striving for excellence, we start to lose that credibility and trust.

As we ready ourselves for new challenges this year with upcoming inspections, exercises and our ever-present global airlift mission, I am confident given our combined abilities and our unwavering core values we will be successful in our efforts. Every day in the 62nd Airlift Wing, we will hold ourselves accountable and strive for excellence.

As I watch you execute our demanding missions daily, it is with great admiration that I serve as your commander. Thank you for your sacrifices and those of your loved ones. It is only with your exceptional service that Team McChord continues to be successful.