An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

PT and personal responsibility

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Anthony Morris
  • 375th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron
Throughout my years I have been given many tasks, assignments, and projects. Personal responsibility is the guiding value that has driven me through to completion of the tasks I have been assigned.

I strongly believe in personal responsibility. My leadership sums it best with the terms "fire and forget" and "silence is concurrence."

Engineers have cleared the roads, security forces guard the gates, and many of us continue to do more with less--and now we are facing a new round of personnel cuts. The job isn't easy and it will only get harder; and this is where personal responsibility can be your guiding light.

As you go forward with your career or even just your service commitment there are certain mile markers you must pass. For example, one of the newest markers we face is our semi-annual Fitness Assessment. When the new standards went into effect last July, one of the first things I did was plan for my Fitness Assessment. I did this not just because I want to lead from the front as a Unit Fitness Program Monitor, but because I knew it was my personal responsibility to pass and maintain currency--not my commander's, not my rater's, not my OIC, but mine and mine alone. Furthermore, I made sure I knew where my assessment fell in my annual reporting period because anyone can have a bad day. Testing a week before my EPR close-out would not be a good example of responsibility, but a lack of it. I knew if I had a bad day on the track, or if I did not performed enough push-ups due to a pulled muscle, I would not have enough time to meet the minimum 42 day reconditioning period.

When my leadership tasks me to accomplish an assignment, they "fire and forget," not because they want to forget about the task, but because they trust I will exercise the personal responsibility necessary to get the job done. I have been entrusted by the Air Force to complete a twice a year assessment of my physical fitness. The expectation has been laid out (fire) and my superiors can press on with other tasks (forget).

While there are times that I must address an issue or concern, silence can also be an answer. Unless I have a legitimate concern or a need to speak up, I give my superiors silence. This is my concurrence and is another form of personal responsibility. It is telling my leadership: "Boss, I copy, and I will get the job done."

Take stock of your personal responsibility, and remember that with silence you are communicating your concurrence.