We are ready for the NSI; continue working on fitness

  • Published
  • By Col. Robert E. Suminsby Jr.
  • 377th Air Base Wing Commander
The Nuclear Weapons Center Nuclear Surety Inspection starts tomorrow. Almost every unit at Kirtland gets inspected at one time or another, and if you're part of the NWC, it's your turn in the spotlight.

The advance team should be here already and the rest of the inspectors arrive this weekend. We have practiced procedures, checked and double-checked our equipment, and tested, quizzed and exercised our people.

We are ready.

Take the time to read Colonel Feehan's article in today's Nucleus on Page 1 and follow his advice. Relax, prepare mentally for the inspection: you know how to do the job, now show the inspectors that we have the best team in the Air Force.

On the topic of being the best, I want to take a moment to discuss our physical fitness standards. You will find a very inspiring and telling article in today's Nucleus on Page 10 about marathon running and Air Force physical fitness by Senior Master Sgt. Atticus Smith of the Kirtland Noncommissioned Officer Academy. He tells of his experiences running marathons and the inspiring people he meets. He discusses the three key attributes to accomplishing personal goals, desire, dedication and determination - the three Ds.

He also notes that 53 percent of the technical sergeants who arrive at the academy score marginal or below on their initial fitness test. This is just unacceptable.
I can understand an individual missing PT on occasion, but what I can't understand is a supervisor allowing an Airman to fail or almost fail a physical fitness test. Being a leader is hard--if you allow your Airmen to fail, you have failed, too. Help your Airmen apply the three Ds to fitness and you will both be winners.

Fitness is an everyday responsibility of all Airmen. It is a requirement, not an option. You are required to give your people time to maintain their fitness and they are required to use that time for fitness. We are obviously failing somewhere if 53 percent of our mid-level managers and supervisors are not within established fitness standards. This is an individual responsibility, but it reflects on each section, division, squadron, group and wing. It says we are not doing our job and it says it loud and clear. We can do better.

We need everyone to be physically fit. Fit people can work longer and harder when the pressure is on. They generally require less medical care and decrease their risk for heart problems and diabetes. And, they present a more professional appearance to the public when in uniform.

What does it matter what the public thinks of us? They are our employers, they pay our salary and they have the right to expect certain things from us: loyalty, dedication, hard work, self improvement and professionalism. One of the ways we show them that we are professionals is appearance. The vast majority of Americans hold their military in very high regard. Don't disappoint them. Look good, be proud and be fit - it's easy, it's our duty.