'Buy In': Do you have it?

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Robert Carter
  • 62nd Aerial Port Squadron
"Buy In" - Buzzword for the not quite committed? Today's continuously changing military environment requires people who can adapt to change, think on their feet, make decisions and think through problems and issues, all for mission accomplishment. So what does this have to do with "Buy In"? If you, as a military member, do not have a "Buy In" at different levels, you will fail to maximize your success. These levels are with your people, your job and the Air Force.

As a chief master sergeant, I didn't adopt the idea until I was a young NCO, but it progressively grew from there. My first real experience was when a close friend overheard a conversation between two Airmen in the dormitories, potentially talking about creating some turmoil, and she told them, "Not in my Air Force!" I thought to myself, "Wow, that's real ownership, she's a stakeholder in this great Air Force (and that's how I want to be)."

First, as a young NCO, you are a trainer of younger Airmen, and the knowledge, skills and attitudes that you display to those you train must be honest, accurate and provide growth. As one grows in rank, that same honest, accurate mentoring is shared with peers, senior enlisted leaders and junior and senior officers alike.

Second, your people must always be first in your mind to take care of them on all levels. When they are late, find out where they are at. When they are sick, ensure they receive medical care. When they do things well, be sure they are acknowledged. The phrase, "We are entrusted with the care of our countries sons and daughters" doesn't just relate to senior leaders or commanders, we all must care for those under our control, and at times even those who are not.

Lastly, our core values really drive home the keystone of how we act, react, and operate in our military microcosm. Do you really think integrity is just a buzzword? Try operating in a combat environment without it. You fail. In a flight line or operational environment without it, you fail. In a customer service environment without it, you fail. Would settling for mediocrity on the battle field allow for success? The Army expects and receives excellence each and every time when they call upon the Air Force in joint operations. Your "Buy In" at all levels: your people, your job and in your Air Force allows us to be the most feared and respected air and space force in the world! Own your piece of the mission. Are you bought in?