Compliance -- Dominate the high ground

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Jeff Van Sanford
  • 21st Space Wing Inspector General
Legendary basketball coach Phil Jackson said, "The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team." Individually and as a team across the 21st Space Wing, each member must dominate their high ground daily in order to ensure mission success.

To make the 21st SW stronger, the 21st SW Inspector General office has two primary roles: complaint resolution and compliance.

What's your high ground in regards to compliance? The answer depends on your specific job and duties. There are more than 1,000 areas of compliance for a squadron commander, but each member of a shop, unit, flight or section helps the 21st SW maintain compliance in all areas. Whether you are a security forces member, in the medical or dental clinic, at the top of world in Greenland, inside Cheyenne Mountain, work in services, on the flight line, space operations, the civil engineer heavy equipment operators, office workers, civilians, contractors-- all personnel, from east to west and north to south, it's on an individual and team basis that we are able to dominate the high ground when it comes to compliance.

The 21st SW/IG office manages compliance with AFI 90-201. I recently completed the IG training course in Lansdowne, Va., and had the opportunity to observe a reenactment of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War's Battle of Bull Run in Manassas, Va. I was observing the troop formations and listening to the narrator. The narrator described the required precision of the formations which to us seems an archaic way of fighting. Why would you make a straight line facing each other? Especially when there is a cannon pointed at you! The formations, tactics and maneuvers highlight discipline and compliance of that era. Visualize the precision of the movement of hundreds of Civil War troops bringing their weapons up, loading, aiming, firing and reloading, then the second line fires and then the third line fires.

Discipline is the heartbeat of compliance. That kind of discipline and preparation leads to maintaining a culture of compliance and meeting mission requirements. Col. Chris Crawford, 21st SW commander, announced a new vision statement for the wing that highlights leadership, innovation and discipline. Leadership at all levels applies to everyone. It took leadership on the battlefield when the comrade standing next to you was no longer a functioning member of the line. You step up and take charge when the situation requires it. Innovative battlefield tactics evolve over time but the line formation produced a devastating wall of musket fire. We still need to constantly evolve and improve in regards to compliance. We must seek new and more efficient ways of improving our warfighting capability. Crawford emphasized that discipline is "not blind compliance with a checklist but a mental state that relies upon critical thinking, problem solving and expertise in your profession."

In addition to compliance, the IG office manages complaint resolution.

The Peterson AFB installation IG provides the 21st SW, mission partner commanders and assigned personnel responsive complaints resolution, fraud, waste and abuse, and high-level inquiry programs characterized by objectivity, integrity and impartiality. The primary charge of the IG is to sustain a credible Air Force IG system by ensuring a responsive complaints resolution program. That is why the IG system is independent from the chain of command. The IG system ensures Air Force personnel are free from any form of retribution, retaliation or reprisal for communicating with the IG. A successful complaint resolution program is designed to enhance the wing's discipline, readiness and warfighting capability. The IG's role and responsibilities are outlined in AFI 90-301, including procedures and requirements for handling complaints and investigations.

Our warfighting capability improves with leadership, innovation and discipline all combined. Be a disciplined and innovative leader! Dominate your high ground! Know the regulations and where to find information, because knowing is half the battle.

(To contact the IG call DSN 834-2104 or (719) 556-2104, Building 845, room 250 on Peterson AFB.)