Personal Readiness

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Michael Edwards
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing command chief
Our wing has over 450 members deployed and we have sent two people to the NCO academy with less than a weeks' notice.

I have seen an Airman die and the Servicemember's Group Life Insurance go to his ex-spouse leaving nothing to care for a current spouse and children. These are examples of why personal readiness is important not just for Airmen, but for their families and the Air Force.

Personal Readiness is an important issue that goes beyond being ready to deploy. It is having your affairs in order every day. It is the day to day things we as Airmen should be doing.

Our ability to deploy or attend a professional military education course, prepare for an operational readiness inspection or just be prepared for a short notice temporary-duty, are all dependent on our personal readiness.

It is the little things we ignore that jeopardize readiness. Having a mobility bag ready so when you get recalled you can respond immediately carrying your personal bag, updating virtual record of emergency data before something in an Airman's life changes so emergency contact information is current, and keeping training current so Airmen are ready to do their job anytime, anywhere is also important.

Staying physically fit and ready to do a physical training test on any day also ensures Airmen are ready to deploy or attend a short notice PME course. In our environment today if you deploy for a joint expeditionary tasking you will not have time to get in shape. Your life and the lives of others may depend on your fitness.

Having a financial plan is also crucial. If Airmen do go somewhere on short-notice, they need their affairs in order. Does your spouse have a power of attorney? Is your will up to date? When does your spouse's identification card expire? These things apply to all Airmen and ensure that they are ready at a moment's notice to answer the call of duty.

In 1990 I deployed to Desert Shield for 211 days -- there was not a lot of notice. I was fortunate that I had my personal affairs in order, the right things in my mobility bag and I had a good financial plan with a power of attorney.

We have a nuclear operation readiness exercise and operational readiness exercise coming up that will test McConnell's personal readiness as it goes through the deployment line. Is your personal readiness in order? Are you physically and mentally prepared to answer the call of duty where ever and whatever that may be?