Commander's Corner: If you see it, pick it up, don't leave it

  • Published
  • By Col. Robert E. Suminsby Jr.
  • 377th Air Base Wing Commander
Pick it up, don't pass it, applies to many things in life. 

Let's start with the trash around the base: pick it up, don't pass it. We live in one of the most beautiful areas of the United States, let's keep it that way. Every piece of trash you walk by, every cigarette butt you throw out your window ends up marring the natural beauty of this area.

Be a responsible steward of our environment. Even if you're homesick for the green forests and grass back east, do your best to protect the high desert landscape around us. The trash you pass by piles up and eventually it becomes unsightly, dangerous and overwhelming. Let's take pride in our base and state; when you see trash, pick it up, don't pass it.

There are lots of problems that can be tackled and solved. Someone just needs to be willing to pick it up. Some are solved easily, others take time, tenacity and endurance - are you the type of person who can tackle a problem head on or do you just pass it? The Air Force needs everyone's wholehearted dedication to make it past the increased ops tempo, decreased manning, increased workload on everyone's shoulders.

When you see a problem you have to pick it up, you can't pass it and hope someone else will pick it up. That person isn't there anymore. It's time to stand up and take control of your area of responsibility, whether it's a mop and bucket or a CV-22. You can't afford - we can't afford - to pass up responsibilities any longer. We must take charge of the problems when we find them and fix them immediately. When you find a problem, pick it up, don't pass it.

Pick it up, don't pass it also applies to your life. Are you walking past your responsibilities to your family? Do your spouse and children need your support and understanding - or are you just passing them by? Do you come home after work, get a beer and sit in front of the TV all night or do you help your kids with their homework? Do you spend quality time with your family or do you just pass them by? If you seem to be on the outside of your family looking in, it's time to do something about it. Look at your life; pick up your problems, fix them and don't pass them up.

One of the ways to pick up problems at work is AFSO21. Look at your processes. Which ones are more complicated than they need to be? Which ones can be combined with others? Which ones don't you need at all? We are continuing to do more with less; we need to break down our jobs to the basics and reassemble them in more efficient, safe, smooth operations. Don't pass it, pick it up.

Another thing everyone needs to pick up on is the weekly retreat ceremony at 4 p.m. every Wednesday at Hardin Field. It is a great opportunity to show your patriotism and love for your country. It only takes a few minutes, but has a very special importance in the life of a servicemember. This tribute to our flag and country isn't just for military members, it's also for civilians. Go to the field and participate; it will make your day. If you choose not to participate and you're driving by, stop your vehicle, show a few minutes of respect to our country: five minutes a week just isn't much to ask for in exchange for the privileges and liberties we have as Americans.