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Responsibility and taking ownership of your career

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Casey Burch
  • 375th Medical Support Squadron
Being responsible takes motivation, dedication, and initiative. As military members, we are fortunate the Air Force provides an environment that supports and encourages all three. The Enlisted Performance Report process, physical training, and additional duties are a few instances where Airmen of all ranks are expected to accept responsibility.

Supervisors do a great job helping new Airmen increase their responsibility and adjust to the dynamics of their teams. However, responsibility ultimately resides with the member, thereby controlling their own decisions.

As junior enlisted Airmen, we have recently become acquainted with the EPR process. We are introduced to this process in order to track accomplishments and structurally organize the information in the required format. We are expected to comply and excel. Not because it is mandated by the Air Force, but if we expect a successful career, we must personally own these responsibilities.

Another example of taking responsibility is the PT program. Commanders and supervisors may mandate PT sessions in hopes of encouraging exercise, but it takes personal PT time to excel. Those who dedicate time and effort are rewarded and those who rely on others to set them up for success are often in their service dress explaining why they failed a component. The Air Force provides the tools necessary to succeed, but it is up to the service member to employ them.

The final instance where Airmen must accept responsibilities are additional duties. When presented with a supplementary task, we have the opportunity to shine. The Air Force encourages taking responsibility by assigning tasks and holding members accountable.

Occasionally, we may receive a task without being given a deadline. This is a golden opportunity to demonstrate self-initiative and the motivation necessary to accomplish the task in a timely manner. Presenting a quality product to your supervisor in a short amount of time speaks volumes about your individual character and pride. Those who do not have to be prompted to complete an additional task in a timely manner will certainly impress their superiors. The Air Force allows Airmen of all ranks to manage significant programs early in their careers. This opportunity is integral to leadership development.

Taking responsibility can be daunting in the beginning of your Air Force career. However, the Air Force provides an abundance of resources to help us be successful. If a better PT score is desired, run clinics are available. If more knowledge on the EPR process is needed, there are documents and mentors to help. When additional tasks are assigned, someone is there to help guide you to accomplish the task.

The Air Force assigns responsibility and provides everything we need to be successful. As Airmen we should welcome responsibility and utilize these resources to exceed expectations.