Pace and Purpose

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen. Bruce Miller
  • 301st Fighter Wing commander
I was at my daughter's soccer practice the other day and I heard her coach constantly saying: "watch your pace" and "pass with a purpose." The "pace" part of the comment was in relation to the team's speed of play. She wanted them to run faster, kick harder and shoot with more power -- all functions of pace. The "purpose" portion was to move the ball in relation to her team, the opposing team, and the goal. The coach did not want them to just pass or shoot. She wanted them to pick a target and hit it.

The coach's words are a good lesson for all of us. We need to use pace and purpose in the execution of our Operational Readiness Inspection (ORI).

We have practiced to every contingency we can think of for this ORI, not only for the Phase II, but also for transition day.

I'm sure most of you can remember back in April when we began our preparations. We started by pulling out the "gear" and slowly putting it on, trying to get a seal, finding all the straps and checking the zippers. By now it is literally second nature to put the mask on and still quickly complete any task that faces us. We have all found a quicker pace to get any job done under any circumstance.

There is, however, one more piece of this puzzle; purpose.

The fact that we can do anything quickly does not overshadow the requirement to do it right. Efficiency is the purpose of the task. We need to very carefully check and crosscheck our tasks, accomplishing each one with purpose. Guidelines, checklists, technical orders, and buddy checks all help us accomplish our purpose.

During every task, don't forget to follow your checklist and complete the task properly. Check your buddy in Phase II to make sure his or her gear is right. Offer to help on build-up and transition days to make sure your work area is ready to go. All of this ensures a sense of purpose to our actions.

We have prepared for this inspection like a team prepares for the big game. Remember to move with pace, watch your purpose, and enjoy the success you have earned. Like we say as they throw out the ball...."Game On!"
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