An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


Get your inspection face on!

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- In sports, whether you are an observer, participant or full-on fanatic, you will often hear, "Get your game face on!" It's another way to say, "Participants need to get into the right frame of mind to be victorious."

As Airmen, our primary duties do not necessarily include participation in sporting events. However, we perform our duties the best we can everyday to complete our mission. Part of our mission right now in the 30th Space Wing is preparing for our upcoming inspection. Now, what does the inspection have to do with sports? Both events have an end-state, whether it is victory on the field or a successful inspection, where we've demonstrated we can succeed. Though, I will not say that the inspection is a sport. It is not a game, it is more important than that. Since we are in the business of national security, it is matter of life and death. Unlike sports, losing is not an option for us. Our nation depends on us to perform and execute our mission to protect it and our fellow citizens. We don't get to demonstrate all of the abilities required to complete our mission, like a launch or the installation deployment process, every day. Inspections are the way we show that no matter what happens can succeed.

I am going to discuss four concepts that you need to embrace in order to get into the right mindset for the inspection: flexibility, urgency, teamwork and communication.

There will be situations in life or at work that unexpectedly come your way. The same will happen during the inspection, but we need to be prepared for the unexpected. This is where the ability to be flexible is essential. We need to be ready for any situation that comes our way, be able to think on our feet, make decisions, and react. During the inspection, we have to show we are prepared, and part of that preparedness is showing our ability to act and react to anything.

When reacting to situations during the inspection, you have to be quick; you have to show urgency. This will show the inspectors we care about getting the job done, and done well. If we don't show urgency in responding to situations and scenarios, it gives the impression we are apathetic to our duties and executing our mission. This does not give a good impression of us and will give the inspectors the sense that if we don't care about the task at hand, we don't care at all. So, show pep in your step, and get the job done with vigor, energy, and urgency.

We all know we cannot get anything done in our shop or squadron without teamwork. This inspection is going to encompass many specialties from across the wing into one team, so we must look at ourselves as one team, regardless of specialty or squadron. Do not watch others struggle in a task, or watch them fail. Step in to help! Offer advice and guidance. Talk to them if they need to be encouraged. We will all be challenged, but by working together, it lightens the stress and the burden we have with the inspection, and will make it easier for all of us to be successful.

Back in 2011, I was part of a unit that went through an inspection. Part of what we did is we communicated what the inspectors had looked at and done to the shops across our squadron, as well as to our leadership. These actions helped to get the word-out on things the inspectors were focusing on and looking for. It also helped our leadership get ready to respond to issues we encountered during the inspection. This goes along with teamwork. Relaying information that can help others enables us all to succeed.

With the 30 SW inspection just a few months away, implore you to take these concepts to heart, get in the right mindset, and get your inspection face on!