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Don’t settle for just finishing the job

HICKAM AIR FORCE BASE, Hawaii -- Some time ago, I read a short story about the trials and tribulations suffered by the designers and builders of the Brooklyn Bridge.

 This is a great story that illustrates determination and pride in one's accomplishments. The title of this story was "The test of a first-rate work is that you finish it." After I finished reading it, I asked myself a question. Do you finish what you start? Of course, the answer is yes, but then came a second question: To what extent? 

Many times we view job completion as meeting the minimum requirements. Meet the bare minimum and move on to the next task and all is well. Right? Wrong. When you continually strive to just meet the bare minimums, you resign yourself to mediocrity. You have just told yourself, your leadership and your subordinates that you are not interested in excellence. You have told them that you have settled for the bare minimums. 

Every Airman is familiar with the Air Force core values of integrity. First, service before self, and yes, excellence in all we do. The 15th Maintenance Operations Squadron's unit patch reads "Pride Produces Quality." The meaning is clear. If you take pride in your work or anything else you do, you will produce a quality product every time, and your journey towards excellence will have begun. 

The military -- the Air Force in particular -- is based on prescribed standards and whether we as Airmen meet or exceed these standards. As clichéd as it may sound, exceeding the standard should be every Airman's standard. You should always strive to excel, to do more than what is just required. The quest to be the best demands that we run that extra mile, that we do that extra push-up or sit-up and that we take the extra step to ensure we achieve Excellence in all we do. It demands that we don't settle for the bare minimum. 

So what does this all mean to you? It means that as you run your checklist for a program you are responsible for in preparation for the impending UCI and you check an item as complied with, ask yourself three questions: 

· Am I'm proud of this program? 

· Is this my best effort? 

· Have I settled for the bare minimum? 

Success during Hickam's UCI won't be achieved between June 6 and15. However, preparations you make now will dictate how we will do during the inspection. Taking pride in your work now, will produce a positive outcome. I wish you all an outstanding UCI.

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