Ten ways to shine during the IG inspection
By Brig. Gen. Mark Zamzow, Director of Air, Space, and Information OperationsAir Education and Training Command
/ Published November 30, 2006
MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- What you consider as your worst nightmare is coming to fruition: The Inspector General is coming. Apprehension, worry, fear, anxiety and tension float through the wing like a thick fog as questions arise in everyone's minds: What will the IG team expect? What will they focus on? What happens if we bust? What do we need to do to succeed?
Wait a second, rewind the tape and take another look at this, is the visit really a nightmare, or is it a blessing in disguise?
Everyone in today's Air Force needs to realize that a routine inspection of any type is, in fact, a good thing, an opportunity, a chance to:
· Conduct a detailed scrub of your regulatory compliance and mission capabilities
· Identify and fix discrepancies and problems
· Improve morale and teamwork by rallying your folks behind a common objective
· Demonstrate your unit's ability to support the warfighter
As part of the preparation process, it is critical that a thorough self-inspection (beyond routinely scheduled self-inspections) be conducted. This will sometimes illuminate more flaws in the armor than you ever imagined!
Here's another good preparation technique for leadership: Use the IG as an excuse to buckle down and get folks re-energized about ensuring compliance
and improving readiness.
The way things should be done are already written out there in the form of laws, Air Force instructions, policy letters, operating instructions, technical orders, self-inspection checklists and more.
The team also wants units to know their expectations about the inspections, so there shouldn't be any surprises. Therefore, folks should feel free to call the IG office and ask questions. The IG wants you to succeed because it helps our Air Force sustain the highest readiness levels possible - that's the business we're all in. It makes our job easier when units are on top of their game.
Now, with the inspection preparation "time warp" complete, it is finally the time to show the IG just how outstanding you really are.
Here's what I call The 10 Best Ways for Inspection Participants to Dazzle the IG:
· Competence - Know your job inside and out, and perform those duties to the best of your ability despite the scenario or the inspector's glare· Responsiveness - Show that "sense of urgency" during every waking moment; lean forward then propel yourself into every activity
· Attitude - Display a positive attitude, enthusiasm
· Readiness - Ensure your personal bags are packed, mobility requirements are current, the paperwork/
processes in your work section are in order, and you have trained so you can infallibly perform your duties in peace and war
· Aggressiveness - React authoritatively with Ability to Survive and Operate skills in attack scenarios
and with Self-Aid and Buddy Care in medical emergencies
· Appearance - Look people in the eye, render that sharp salute, and exceed those standards for uniform, boots and hair
· Safety - Approach duties with a safety-oriented mind set, know when not to press forward on unsafe actions and apply operational risk management techniques to accomplish the mission
· Leadership - Lead by words and actions, formally and informally by motivating, communicating and setting a positive example
· Followership - Follow taskings and orders quickly and effectively, employ team building skills, and always keep the "objective" in sight
· Pride - Visibly exude pride in yourself, your unit, your mission and your base
Notice those attributes not only shine through for the IG's visit, but are integral to the fabric of our Air Force as well. Clearly, they apply far beyond inspections as the foundation of "normal ops" every day of the year.
When your unit is under the IG's inspection microscope, channel that apprehension and fear toward productivity, positive thinking and action. During the inspection, grab that inspector and say, "Follow me - I want to show off exactly why my unit and our people are outstanding!"