Joint Base Charleston


Structure and discipline

By Master Sgt. Cassandra Douglas | 16th Airlift Squadron first sergeant | July 14, 2015

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. -- I recently briefed an Enlisted Force Structure lesson at the First Term Airman Center and asked the Airmen, "Was their first duty station what they expected?"  Almost all of the Airmen answered no, it wasn't what they expected.  They stated that it's too relaxed and it seemed like there was no discipline in comparison to what they learned in Basic Training and Tech School. 

So my question is what are we doing as NCO's and SNCO's to have our Airmen think or feel that way?  Do we get so far away from discipline and standards once an Airman in-processes to their first duty location that the Airmen are feeling like they have no structure?   This made me realize that some, if not all Airmen are looking for structure, they want, expect it and we owe it to them. 

First our Airmen have to understand that we cannot function in the same capacity as a training environment, however we should still enforce the standards and expect that they would uphold what they learned in training.  We sometimes get so comfortable in our own everyday work environments that we fail to realize what we're doing with our new Airmen.  How many of us walk past an Airman talking on the phone, carrying the wrong color bag, wrong hair standards and not correct that Airman?  How many of us walk past an NCO or SNCO that was out of regulations but felt like we shouldn't say anything because they were higher ranking? 

Our Airmen see everything and they follow in our footsteps.  Our Airmen want leaders, they want someone who will dig in the trenches with them but also correct them when needed.  Most Airmen don't want us to be their buddy but want someone to guide, mentor, and keep them structured and disciplined.

Staying Connected