Chief's Corner - week of May 4

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- As first sergeants we see many Air Force Instruction violations, especially regarding dress and appearance standards. 

As Air Force members, we are all responsible for assisting others if they are in violation. We have all been there, but I wanted to take a moment to add some food for thought.

We see Airmen every day who are not complying with standards. In our line of work, the inherent importance of our mission requires us to be able to follow instructions and make the right choices. The best way I’ve heard this described is being “all in.” 

Being “all in” isn’t a new phrase, but it’s a good way to describe your level of commitment to anything in your life, or in this case the Air Force.  Are you “all in” or are you planning to just slide by doing as little as you can? 

For example AFI 36-2903, Dress and Personal Appearance, isn’t up to the individual’s interpretation.  In recent days, one of the first sergeants corrected an individual whose hair was out of regulations.  Instead of acknowledging the error and correcting the problem at the earliest opportunity, the individual began a debate on the interpretation of the regulation. 

If any interpretation is warranted, the unit commander has the final say, but if your hair needs the unit commander’s weigh in, you are not “all in.”  Becoming “all in,” in a way, means you leave the person you were behind and become a better “you” as part of something bigger than yourself. 

If you define yourself with your hair instead of your uniform, maybe you belong elsewhere.  We all made a commitment to the Air Force but if your level of commitment can be measured by your hair cut, you may not be “all in.”