ANG safety chief says core values bridge civilian-military career gap|
by Capt. Peter Shinn
Officer Training School
9/28/2012 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. - -- The director of safety for the Air National Guard addressed the Air Command and Staff College Sept. 12 about the key role the Air Force core values play in making the transition from a military to a civilian career.
Col. Doug Slocum, an F-16 pilot stationed at Andrews AFB, Md., earned the Air Force Chief of Staff Individual Safety Award in 2010 for his work to bring the Maintenance Resource Management program to Air Force units around the world since 2005. Under MRM, all Airmen are empowered to call "knock it off" if they witness an action that could lead to a mishap. According to Slocum, he won broad support for MRM by appealing to the core values of commanders.
"If you're driving 70 and there's a speed limit of 55 miles per hour, you've just reset the new speed limit for all your people and you're not demonstrating 'integrity first,'" Slocum said. "That's a message that hit uncomfortably close for a lot of the commanders that I was trying to sell on MRM, but many of them realized they couldn't very well empower Airmen to call 'knock it off' for deviating from published guidance if the commanders weren't setting the example."
Slocum made his remarks to Air University faculty, staff and students at a luncheon hosted by the Guard and Reserve Network. Though Slocum is a full-time Air National Guardsman, he has worked closely with civilian companies that have since adopted his MRM program, including the Tucson Electric Power Company and the Nuclear Energy Safety Community. Slocum noted the relationship between the Air Force core values and the leadership qualities civilian employers are looking for in veterans.
"In the Air Force, 'integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do' are a way of life, even if you sometimes have to remind people how specific behaviors relate to a particular core value," Slocum said. "Corporations are hungry for folks like guardsmen, reservists and people leaving active duty who really understand what it means to serve others with excellence and integrity."
Slocum's message resonated with GARNET co-founder Col. Ed Vaughan of Montgomery, who invited Slocum to visit Maxwell and serves as the Air National Guard advisor to the commander and president of the Air University.
"(Slocum) is spot-on in highlighting the connection between the core values and civilian employment," Vaughan said. "Many veterans take this for granted, but such workplace ethics are highly valued in the civilian sector. A veteran's ability to live the core values should be a key highlight of his or her resume, right up alongside industry standard credentials," he added. "This is a message that every military member needs to hear, and GARNET was fortunate to have Col. Slocum present it to us so effectively."