Persistent attention to detail yields continuous excellence

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. John Andrus
  • 62nd Medical Squadron commander
Throughout Air Mobility Command and the Air Force, McChord Air Force Base has a well-deserved reputation of excellence.

Our recent Nuclear Surety Inspection results further validate that reputation. A key to our success with the NSI and other inspections has been our attention to many minute details. It is this attention to detail that brings excellence in all we do. On the other hand, inattention to even one small detail can bring disastrous results.

Many have heard the saying that if a job is worth doing, it's worth doing well. Guarding freedom and justice is a job worth doing and we are fortunate to be on a team that does it incredibly well. However, we must remain vigilant and never relax our guard. This is easier said than done. Our mission is challenging, the pace unrelenting and we find ourselves constantly prioritizing tasks and shifting resources to get the job done. In this environment it is easy to rush from one task to the next so quickly that we can become careless, missing a key step.

Regardless of how busy we become we must stay focused. Whether fueling an aircraft, planning a mission, repairing a downed electrical line, preparing a meal, measuring blood pressure, writing a performance report, scheduling personnel or even planning an evening out, performing each step of the process correctly is essential to success. Establishing and using standardized procedures and following checklists and technical orders are effective tools to help stay focused and ensure nothing is forgotten. This is true both on and off duty. Another effective technique is to use a team approach to perform a task or have a team member double check or proofread your work. Computer programs can help with spell-check or tracking functions.

Paying attention to detail is an attribute of the professionalism that characterizes Team McChord. It's an essential element of safe, effective mission accomplishment. As busy as we are, it's essential that we continue to take the time to pay attention to detail, using checklists and a team approach to ensure we do not falter nor fail.