No ifs, ands or buts

  • Published
  • By Col. Kelvin D. McElroy
  • 512th Maintenance Group commander
Today's Air Force Reserve remains an integral part of America's fighting capability at all levels.
From a tactical perspective, we know that citizen Airmen provide technical expertise, corporate knowledge and specific experience not usually employed by our active-duty counterparts.

Operationally, Reserve units routinely deliver crews and aircraft to supplement the full-time warfighter. The larger strategic impact is not always as apparent as the two former; but, the knowledge that nearly 70,000 AF reservists stand at the ready to support combatant commanders around the globe strongly influences the greater and long-term military decisions of our nation's leaders as well as those of our potential enemies.

With thousands of AF reservists deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, the readiness concept should be taken more seriously than ever. This is a paramount concern of commanders at all levels. It is the process focus of our technical schools, medical and readiness agencies. For the individual, it is a matter of personal and professional responsibility, no ifs, ands or buts.

In most cases, we expect our supervisors, commanders and first sergeants to let us know when our mandatory readiness items are due. However, as Air Force professionals, remembering when our performance reports or fitness assessments are due is hardly a difficult task. Avoiding ownership of such tasks can adversely impact your career and our mission capability.

As we continuously try to maintain the balance of home, civilian and military obligations, it is vital to know when training is due.

Let's take a quick assessment of your readiness.

Are you current on your ancillary training?

Do you know when your next dental examination (DD Form 2813, "Department of Defense Active Duty, Reserve Forces Dental Examination") is due?

Are your immunizations up to date?

Do you know when your next fitness assessment is due?

Is your family care plan and will up to date?

How many serviceable uniforms do you have ready if needed at a moment's notice?

Tracking all of these requirements may seem daunting, but there are several, very easy to access tools that you can use to do a self-check every unit training assembly. First and foremost is ARCNet. This resource, available through the AF Portal and the wing's home Enterprise Information Management page, provides a simple snap shot of your readiness status in terms of medical, fitness, ancillary training and more.

The virtual MPF, also found on the AF Portal, is where you can verify that your beneficiary information is correct. You can also check on your award and decoration records, duty history, as well as developmental education information.

Contact your unit training manager to discuss and project your Air Force specialty code specific training. There's no excuse to not be an expert on your current status - no ifs, ands or buts.