Treat the UCI like game day

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Timothy Horn
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing command chief
Like a football team preparing for the Super Bowl, Team McConnell (AIRPOWER!) has been preparing for the Unit Compliance Inspection.

There have been a lot of meetings, checklists and just plain, hard work so far; rightfully so, everything has focused on getting ready. But what happens when the inspectors actually arrive on "game day?" Here are some thoughts on how to help the team during the inspection.

· Don't stop preparing! Inspectors may not hit your area right away. Use this time wisely.

· Safety counts. During a UCI, everything counts, and safety is always a highly visible area that can set the tone for an entire inspection. Do your part by wearing the appropriate protective equipment and making safety and risk management part of everything you do.

· Cleanliness counts. Ensure your work area looks sharp. Empty garbage cans, sweep floors and straighten desks. A clean work environment makes an outstanding first impression.

· Be friendly and courteous. Make the inspectors feel welcome. If you see inspectors with that lost look in their eyes, offer them help, and find the building or office they're looking for. Bottom line, they are fellow Airmen and welcomed guests on our base - let's treat them accordingly.

· A lone inspector is dangerous! Don't let inspectors walk around unattended. There are numerous reasons this is a bad idea, but it's also a basic professional courtesy.

· Never say "I don't know." Instead say, "I'll find out and get back with you." Get their contact number or schedule so you can keep good on your promise. Ensure you follow up!

· Take a learning attitude. Inspectors are generally experts in their field. Most are genuinely interested in helping you learn how to succeed in your functional area. Taking notes and asking questions show that you appreciate and value their feedback; it also creates a great impression to the inspector.

· Handling disagreement. If you believe the inspector is incorrect, don't get into an argument. The best approach is to wait for the inspector to leave your area, find the reference that supports your position, and brief the situation up your chain of command.
Your leaders will have an opportunity to address issues through the inspection process.

· Show off with humility. Here's the balancing act - be a humble professional while taking pride in your program and in what you do.

· Basic standards. Since we've been focusing so hard on our programs and processes, we can forget how important it is to be compliant across the board. That includes following uniform standards, having a good haircut, and wearing safety belts when required.

· Fix it on the spot. If an inspector finds an area of non-compliance in your program, fix it on the spot. Don't worry whether the write-up will count or not - the inspector will notice your immediate action.

· Share what you know ... quickly! Once the inspector leaves your area, take a minute to consider what information could be passed on to help others. For example, if the inspector asks your most junior Airmen to name their safety representative, pass that information up your chain of command. You may have a positive impact on the rest of your unit's inspection!