Accountability starts with you

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Every day I have the privilege to work with many great Airmen who live and breathe accountability. I consider these Airmen always ready. They take the time to prepare, lead and execute tasks that not only make them better, but also those around them.

However, I am sometimes puzzled at those who seem to think there are no consequences for their actions or lack of actions.

One case in point happened last week when I had the fortunate pleasure to take a break for a quick workout at the base fitness center. As I was on the treadmill watching a PT test take place on the track, it was obvious some of the Airmen taking the run portion of the test were ready for the test and others were not. From my perspective the Airmen who had trained were moving at a steady pace, they looked smooth and in control. On the other hand there were some who were definitely struggling.

I fully understand each of us has different running styles and we can all have a bad day, but it was evident some were not up for the task.

We all must prepare for the PT test. We cannot hope to run less than a 13-minute time if we are training at a 15-minute mile pace. We also cannot wait until two weeks out to start a fitness program. If we are having sit-ups or pushups not count due to poor form - there is a solution. The Health and Wellness Center PTLs will coach any Airmen to help them with their form.

So what is the point of this commentary? Our Airmen are our most valuable asset. Without all of them in the fight, the success of our mission is in jeopardy. When we cannot pass the PT test, it jeopardizes ones career, could impact a deployment, or a new job opportunity. Most importantly, it’s an indicator the Airman’s wellness is not where it should be for a healthy life.

Supervisors need discuss with each of their Airmen what these repercussions are. Perhaps they can even work out with their Airmen to ensure they fully understand the importance of being always ready. Being always ready is not only for their PT test, but any other task required to complete the mission.

While leadership encourages supervisor involvement, ultimately it is not the supervisor’s career. Every Airman is accountability for their own actions. We all need to be fit, be a warrior and be always ready!

A perfect example of someone I want to recognize as always ready is a DoD civilian who works at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo. Her name is Barb Lutz, who brought her A-game every day for 43 years. Barb rewrote the book on accountability. She always looked ahead, knew the mission game plan, prepared for the game plan, and she executed the game plan with perfection. She understood the importance of accountability, and was an informal leader to me by example. When she retires at the end of this month, there will be a void that’s going to need to be filled by some great Airmen with those great values. God’s speed to Ms. Barb Lutz who was always ready.