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NEWS | Dec. 17, 2014


By Col. Jeffrey DeVore 628th Air Base Wing commander

In mid-November, we held a series of 628th Air Base Wing CC Calls and talked about our wing priorities and special interest items.  We followed that up in December with visits to the squadrons and staff directorates to talk further about how we can ensure supervisors at the lowest levels are translating the priorities into action.  Through the CC Calls and squadron visits, we focused on one thing ... trust.

Trust is a word that can take years to gain ... and yet seconds to lose.  A word that seems so simple, yet is so complex.  A word that defines our professional and personal  behavior in and out of uniform.  Simply put ... a word that makes or breaks our organization.

I need you all to know that I trust you and that your wing leadership team trusts you.  And we will continue to trust you until you give us a reason not to. You are the experts when it comes to mission success. You are the experts at enabling readiness. You do it very well. And I feel fortunate to be part of your team.

Sometimes, in execution, we make mistakes.  It is part of human nature. It happens. I make mistakes all the time. Luckily, I have a wing full of professionals to catch me when I make a mistake. I have you to pick me up, dust me off and get me back on track. Trust enables that type of behavior and action. We cannot be a one-mistake force.  We must recognize we are not always going to be perfect. Supervisors must be tolerant of letting their folks learn and grow. Sometimes we have to fail to understand. 

In our squadron discussions, many of you stated you worked for supervisors you did not trust at some time during your career. That had to be a miserable experience. Because once we lose that bond, we begin to erode. How can I expect you to be at your best if you don't trust your supervisor or co-workers?  The bottom line is, I can't.  If trust erodes we have to talk to each other. I am not saying we have to send Christmas cards to each other, but we have to talk and communicate to understand why the trust has been violated, or perceived to be violated.

Trust solves sexual assault. Trust allows us to work through force management issues. Trust empowers you to be the leaders you need to be in your organizations. Trust allows us to make honest mistakes in the workplace without fear of losing a job or career or a downgrade on an EPR. Trust allows us to innovate. Trust allows us to grow as an organization. Trust.

We may not always be successful, but having trust in each other and our priorities will give us a better than average chance. It's not about placing blame; it's about taking blame, fixing what we need to and moving on.

2014 has been a difficult, but amazing year. I look back with great pride on all you have accomplished.  You stood up when our nation needed you most and I know you will continue to do so. I wish I had the words to let you know how proud I am of you. Your actions built trust not only across the Joint Base, but also the entire DOD.  I am excited to see how you build on that trust for 2015.

As we round out the year, "Thank You" for trusting me to be your commander. If I ever do anything to violate that bond, it is imperative you let me know. I will hold you in high regard for the honest feedback and will work vigorously to do what I can to restore your faith. Trust.
Serving All.