JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. —
As military members, we should have one main goal… to be ready!
But, what should we be ready for? The real answer is everything. I’m asking you to consider what you can do personally to help us be ready for anything that comes our way. You accomplish this by taking the time and making the effort to be caught up (or ahead) on all fitness, training and individual readiness items.
In the reserve, each year we use one weekend to complete all of those pesky annual requirements and get everybody into the “green.” But is it enough? I don’t think it is. I think being ready requires a mindset from every Airman which focuses on learning to be the best at your job and being deployable in every aspect of your mission.
Being ready for whatever is thrown at us is one of the major reasons the Air Force Reserve exists – to be prepared and be able to fulfill any role the big Air Force or our nation’s calls us to do. It’s what we’re paid for.
Additionally, we have a Unit Evaluation Inspection (UEI) coming up in the spring, and one of the biggest things they look at is how prepared our people are. We no longer live in the days where inspections don’t accurately reflect how we go to war. They now evaluate our ability to walk out the door and complete our mission.
While things like a dental checkup, flu shot, family care plan, taking the same CBT you’ve taken for the past couple years or a PT test may seem trivial considering the big picture. However, these requirements are in place for a reason.
In these tumultuous times, our nation could face a terrorist attack, a humanitarian crisis or a rogue nation could decide to do something very unfortunate. All of these could cause each and every one of us to step forward and do what our nation needs us to do at a moment’s notice. To do that, we must be prepared.
Physical fitness, medical readiness and training are the three most important readiness items we need to maintain. Our wing has done very well overall, but these are recurring items we all need to regularly maintain. Being ready isn’t a one-and-done situation; it is an ongoing mindset. You should do whatever needs to be done to be prepared and caught up.
Also, there are less-visible readiness items which can cause problems. Here are a few I’d like you to consider:
· Have you saved the contact phone numbers of all the people who you might need to reach to do your job?
· Do you have a family care plan? Have you set up a will or a Power of Attorney?
· Are your finances in good shape? Are you caught up on bills?
· Does your family understand what’s expected of you as an Airman in case of a crisis?
· Are all your immunizations up to date?
· Are you up to date on your dental requirements?
· Is all of your equipment in good working order? Are you missing equipment or supplies?
· Is your emergency contact data up to date in vMPF? What about your information in DEERS?
· Is your work center well-organized? Are you organized and ready to walk out the door if needed?
The Secretary of Defense emphasizes readiness at all levels of the military. Being ready makes you more effective as an Airman and has a deterrent effect. If adversaries know you’re capable at a moment’s notice, they’re much less likely to try to engage us in the first place, because they know we can quickly respond.
Lots of things to consider and I expect you’ll do what it takes to maintain the high level of readiness because that’s the standard here at Joint Base Charleston and because we are Airmen!