An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : Commentaries : Display
NEWS | July 7, 2014

Know your Airmen

By Master Sgt. Rodney Lawless 437th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron assistant first sergeant

In my role as assistant first sergeant for the 437th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, I sit in on a lot of meetings with the commander and supervisors. In these meetings the supervisors are questioned about their Airmen. The discussion is usually sparked from on off-duty incident. In many of these meetings it is evident the supervisor was given the cliff note version on their Airmen. I even witnessed a supervisor state that he didn't know his Airmen very well and could only give limited information. This should never be the case.

The Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force approved the new Airman Comprehensive Assessment Worksheet with a start date of July 1. 2014. The new AF Form 931 (airman basic - technical sergeant), 932 (master sergeant - chief master sergeant) and 724 (second lieutenant - lieutenant colonel), was developed to increase supervisory awareness of activities affecting our Airmen and to better facilitate interaction between Airmen and their supervisors. I understand it can be hard to keep up with our Airmen and that's why I believe the new feedback worksheet is now an even better tool to help you to know your Airmen better. This new worksheet has a section titled "Knowing Your Airman." This section is designed to be discussed during the feedback session.

To get to know my Airmen there are three important questions I use as guidance: Where was this individual at in their life previous to our introduction? Where is this individual at now in their life? Where is this individual going or wanting to go?

I think that as supervisors if we know the answers to those three little questions we will know and be able to help our Airmen better.

Knowing and being involved in our Airmen's lives can deter them from getting off track from their goals and inspirations. This doesn't mean we have to hang out and be best friends. It does require regular conversations to make sure we know the answer to the three questions above.

We live a fast paced life and our values and circumstances change from time to time. By having these regular conversations it keeps those three questions fresh. Mentorship doesn't have to be complicated; it can be as easy as just asking questions.