Attention to Detail

  • Published
  • By Maj. Roman Hund
  • 22nd Communications Squadron
Air Force leadership is making strategic decisions about the Air Force of the future. This leadership expects, and rightly so, that at the base level, our Airmen are paying attention to the details and moving us toward their vision. The devil is in the details and our job as a part of Team McConnell is to work out those details.

I was reminded during a no-notice dorm inspection of the 22nd Communications Squadron that our junior Airmen have some of the strongest attention to detail in the Air Force. We entered rooms (unannounced, this is how they live) and Airmen had shoes lined up in perfect order under the bed, uniforms and clothes perfectly lined up in their closet. This doesn't just happen; they are paying attention to detail.

The Airmen in our mail room check packages for any signs of explosives in boxes. This means 10 percent of the packages they receive have to be scanned in a process that takes an extra 3-5 minutes per box. It would be very easy to just push the package through, but the extra time ensures the protection of the base populace and shows attention to detail.

When do we lose this precious ability as Airmen? I would venture to guess it starts as we move up in rank and responsibility and we delegate to others to get work done. Paying attention to detail when we delegate is often harder than when we do the job ourselves.

Attention to detail isn't micro-management, it is checking the work, comparing what was done with what was intended and making sure the job is complete. Check, check again and then recheck, always handling even the most routine tasks with care. Never let that task go to the next level for them to catch your lack of attention to detail.

The simple things can sometimes give a lasting impression on how well we are paying attention to detail. How many phone numbers can you call on base and get a voice message that either doesn't exist or the message was left by someone in that position from two years prior? All it takes is five minutes to record a new message, yet many at McConnell fail to update this simple item to ensure callers know if they have the right number. In fact, how many people even check their voice mail messages? One button to listen (message), hit seven, six to delete. If someone leaves a message, they would like a call back. Attention to detail.

Let our AF strategic leaders continue to move us in the right direction and trust in their abilities. Focus on your job and take care of the details, always keeping an eye on where we are headed. McConnell is where the rubber meets the road. What you are doing here matters; it is vital to the security of our nation and your attention to detail will ensure our ability to continue to fly, fight and win.