Who Is The Most Important Person?

  • Published
  • By Col. Mark White
  • 22nd Mission Support Group
Being in the Air Force means we are all part of a large, successful organization. Who is the most important person in that organization? Is it your unit commander? Your first sergeant or flight commander? Maybe you're thinking it's you.

Consider your unit's organization chart: The commander is listed all alone at the top, while underneath are the mid level leaders who are sitting on top of the bottom line airmen and front line workers. Yet, you could argue that no one on the chart is more important than any other person because each contributes in different but equal ways to the mission. No, the most important person in your organization is not even listed on our organization charts. That person is the customer.

Every organization, big or small, has customers. Those customers, both internal and external, are the most important people in your organization. Customers are part of your organization because they give your unit the reason for its mission. In fact, they are the reason for your organization's existence and there can be no more important person than that.

Customers come in all forms: from aircrews receiving mission capable airplanes to new arriving Airmen completing the First Term Airman's Course to motorists having their identification cards checked at the gate. Each of us is a customer and a provider of customer service at the same time. We are all working toward the ultimate customer, the most important people in our organization: the American people and the freedoms we all enjoy.