Looking forward … through reflection

Lt. Col. Rich Moon
435th Logistics Readiness Squadron commander

***image1***“Have a Happy New Year” was probably said to me at least 50 times in December. It got me thinking about what we’ve accomplished and, more importantly, what challenges lie ahead for 2005.

I’ve been in the logistics readiness squadron commander’s seat for six months. My plan of attack was simple: observe (three months), develop objectives and goals (one month), develop the implementation plans (one month) and then execute (by the six-month mark). Well, it’s been a real challenge to follow this precise plan. And what explanation do I have for this? It’s simple: Ramstein acks three months of work and activities into one normal month. And it’s time to change the recipe for local conditions.
I don’t think anyone will disagree the ops tempo here is about Mach 3, but we need to realize it’s a necessary evil because the units here comprise a unique entity in the Air Force. We have a tremendous in-garrison mission while still supporting (and contributing to) a hefty deployment commitment throughout Europe, Southwest Asia and Africa. So while snuffing out infernos seems to be the perpetual modus operandi, we also have an inherent obligation to plan our own future and to steer ourselves toward continued success. Juggling these commitments while taking care of yourself and your family will, at first glance, appear to be an impossible task – there just aren’t enough hours in a day. But I’m convinced the secret recipe for long-term health and success (for units and the individuals therein) must include a balanced mix of values, goals and priorities. And never forget that while the mission is handed to you, it’s people who execute it. Not paying attention to values, goals and priorities as the foundation for long-term personal and professional success results in a mundane life of juggling suspenses and stomping out blazing fires. It’ll also render you and your unit merely six months older.

Looking back is a good way to start looking forward. Of course, being a history buff, I’m inclined to believe that history teaches us a lot, and without thoughtful intervention, will repeat itself. After reflecting on my experience thus far in Germany, I’m looking forward to a new year full of fresh starts and new beginnings focused on values, goals and priorities. There’s a lot of wisdom to the adage that we must all take time to stop and smell the roses. Similarly, there’s much benefit to be gained by paying attention to the details. We all have a lot on our plate, but ‘tis the season for resolutions, right? So let’s resolve to rediscover – hidden among those roses and details – our core values, true objectives and important priorities.

Have a valuable New Year, KMC!