Excellence In All We Do

THULE AIR BASE, Greenland -- Over the last decade Lance Armstrong and Michael Phelps have risen to the pinnacle of their respective sports. Armstrong captured seven consecutive Tour de France titles while Michael Phelps captured 14 gold medals over the past two Olympics. Clearly, these two individuals embody the concept of "excellence," and their efforts in pursuit of this excellence are simply remarkable. The final results underscore years of intense physical and mental training that propelled these two giants to seemingly insurmountable heights. Nothing was left to chance; both men's preparations and pre-race routines were incredibly precise and no detail, regardless of how small, was left to chance.

Similarly, we all want to achieve excellence in the upcoming operational readiness inspection and unit compliance inspection, and with the proper "race" preparations we will. Hopefully, you have already been reviewing your programs and practicing your procedures both during the wing-level Condor Crest exercises as well as within your local flight and unit exercises.

However, one of the biggest challenges with inspection preparations is taking a step back and really looking at your program with a critical eye. One technique to help mitigate this potential hazard is to have Airmen outside your organization review your program. Remember, simply saying "yes" to SIP questions misses the point; it's about thoroughly documenting an entire process that clearly demonstrates unquestionable compliance with Air Force instructions.

Next, prior to the inspection, you should practice your initial presentation to the inspectors, have your strengths highlighted up front and help them appreciate the challenges you face running a program inside the Arctic Circle.

Lastly, exhibit a sense of confidence and positivity during the inspection. Many of Armstrong and Phelp's teammates frequently commented about the extra motivation that these two individuals spread across the entire team, driving others to achieve their own levels of excellence. The Air Force "race" is no different: stay positive, be friendly and speak professionally and confidently when dealing with inspectors. Your pride and the manner in which you demonstrate that pride speak volumes.

In conclusion, remember that excellence is not just something that drives world class athletes, but is one of our Air Force core values. Take the time now to drive your programs closer and closer to this standard. Your hard work will directly impact the ORI/UCI --the next big "race" on Team Thule's calendar.