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SOS: Plugging the Holes

Wing formation honors commander

Airmen in formation listens to audible commands as Col. Raymond Smith officially became commander of the 932nd Airlift Wing during a special ceremony on Nov. 5, 2017, at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. Family, friends, military leaders, and community guests came out to wish him well. The wing comes under 22nd Air Force, and Air Force Reserve Command. It has four groups assigned, with reservists who come in to drill on 932nd AW Unit Training Assembly weekends from more than 30 states. The groups seen here from left to right are: 932nd Operations Group, the 932nd Mission Support Group, the 932nd Medical Group, and the 932nd Maintenance Group. Smith was formerly the commander of the 932nd Operations Group for 18 months. (U.S. Air Force photo by Lt. Col. Stan Paregien)

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. --

This commentary is a short story and idea on helping those around you:

A group of people are standing at a river bank and suddenly hear the cries of a baby.  Shocked, they see an infant floating, and drowning, in the water.  One person immediately dives in to rescue the child.  But, as this is going on, yet another baby comes floating down the river, and then another!

People continue to valiantly jump in to save the babies, and in the commotion, they notice one person in their group, who was still on shore, start to walk away from the others.  Accusingly, they shout, "where are you going?"  The response:  "I'm going upstream to stop whoever's throwing babies into the river."

Think about it!

You can get so focused on the "5-meter target" that you lose sight of the big picture.  It's like the guy in a row boat in the middle of a lake.  The boat has a bunch of holes in it and so is taking on water.  Out of fear of sinking, the man immediately starts bailing water--the 5-meter target.  The big picture?  How about plugging the holes?

That's what I've been doing today -- facilitating a Continuous Process Improvement event to help solve the problem, rather than implement a work-around or temporary fix.  It's all about looking for the ROOT CAUSE!



932nd AW MISSION:  Providing unrivaled, mission-ready citizen Airmen



Submitted commentary by:


STEPHANIE D. BOEHNING, GS-12 DAF
CPI Black Belt, 932 AW Process Manager