Making correct decisions prevents future problems

  • Published
  • By Maj. Rhonda Larson
  • 62nd Mission Support Squadron commander
Recently, I mentioned to my first sergeant that I was scheduled to write an article for the Northwest Airlifter, but didn't have any good ideas.

My first sergeant, being a pretty smart individual, suggested I write about people taking the time to make good decisions. 

Humans make wrong decisions about work, finances, family issues -- the list goes on.

Sometimes people make decisions not to confront others about not meeting standards -- this is an especially common dilemma for supervisors. 

Many times our gut feeling is a good indicator whether something is the right decision. For example, six years ago, I was deployed to Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia. 

As I looked forward to the arrival of the backfills for my Personnel Support for Contingency Operations team, another wing requested a weapons qualification waiver in order for a senior noncommissioned officer to deploy to our team. 

At the time, Saudi Arabia was fairly secure, but my gut told me I didn't want someone on my team who couldn't handle her weapon, if required. 

I caught a lot of flak from various higher headquarters for not supporting a waiver -- no one else could envision the need for a PERSCO troop to tote a weapon. 

Eventually, the SNCO qualified on her M-16 and joined up with the team. 

Three days after I returned from PSAB, two aircraft hit the World Trade Center. PERSCO troops, as well as other Airmen, have been carrying their weapons in the region since then. 

Should our gut feelings be based solely on our own wishes? 

I believe our personal wishes should be tempered with other standards -- the Air Force core values and regulatory guidance, for example. 

Our careers and life experiences with these kinds of guidelines and standards will help us develop trustworthy gut feelings, and we'll be better prepared to make good decisions. 

Do you have a tough decision to make? No one else can make it for you, but you don't have to make it in a vacuum. 

Talk to your mentor or someone else you trust. Weigh the options. 

Don't allow yourself to chicken out of doing the right thing, even if it's painful.