Commander’s Corner: Remember to recognize your people

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, New Mexico -- It can be almost too easy to take co-workers and subordinates for granted who work hard every day. There are Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and civilians out there who are consistently doing amazing things and going out of their way not just in work but also outside of work. If you supervise one of these folks, take the time to let them know that their effort is appreciated.

Recognizing top performers can take many forms. It could be as little as a pat on the back and a "good job" or as much as putting your subordinate or co-worker in for a medal or quarterly award. It's everyone's responsibility to make sure that nobody feels like their contribution to the mission is being overlooked. You don't even have to be a supervisor to tell someone he did an awesome job on that last project.

This year, the Air Force and the Air Force Association recognized combat medics as the 2007 Team of the Year. These dedicated and talented Airmen have made sure that 97 percent of casualties that reach a medical facility during this war will survive. Some members of Team Kirtland are deployed right now as part of that effort, and we're proud of them.

It's not just the military recognizing its own. I spend a good deal of time with community leaders, and I'm constantly struck by the high regard in which we are held. We may take it for granted sometimes but outside the fence of Kirtland, there are thousands of people in awe of what you do every day and the professional attitude you project. Even through a long and contentious war, the public's support of you has not changed. They continue to have pride in all of you and support you. Keep up the good work. The toughest challenge is living up to our own reputation.

Speaking of great reputations, there is a group of excellent Airmen arriving to perform on Thursday, March 15. The Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team will be performing two shows - one at the west fitness center and one at the east fitness center at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., respectively. Supervisors should make sure that their Airmen have an opportunity to go and see one of the shows and support our drill team. Flying bayonets can make for some interesting moments.

Lastly, I would like to congratulate the Air Force Distributed Mission Operations Center on their fifth Air Force Modeling and Simulation Award for Training Award in six years. This is an amazing feat and goes to show that the great people working at DMOC are the gold standard in their business. DMOC does a great job providing our warfighters unique training opportunities, tying in players from around the world to create a virtual battlespace to simulate complex combat scenarios. They obviously have a few 400-lb brains working there, and it shows. Well done!

As this week showed, it's a great time of year to be in New Mexico. Play hard, but remember to stay safe. Keep up the good work, Team Kirtland, and thanks for all that you do!