Tag Archives: Air Force

Three Ways Military Safety Procedures Can Help Ensure Workplace Safety

This Contentsafety procedures Provided Courtesy of USAA.

It seems contrary to a lot of people’s conceptions that the military is a major proponent of safe operations. From the military’s stand point, safe operations are one of the most important steps a leader can take to prepare their unit to accomplish their wartime mission. My first leadership position in the US Army was as a Heavy Mortar Platoon Leader in the Republic of Korea. My platoon’s purpose was to fire our six mortars accurately, quickly, and under any weather conditions. To do this safely, though, was a daunting task. We had to be able to operate from -30F to +100F, in rain, snow, mud, and maintain and operate wheeled and tracked vehicles when most of the platoon had less than three years in the US Army. Yet, we achieved our mission with a majority of very junior soldiers.

A focus on safety made us better at our military jobs. In my opinion, the same principles of safety the military uses can, and should, be used in the civilian world to make workplaces safer and more productive.

How military safety matters to workplace safety:

It starts with training & leadership to a high standard. Training, education, and rehearsals (practice) are the best way to maintain and create a safe workplace. Safe operations come from having to train, to practice, and to anticipate how to perform tasks safely even under a great amount of stress, little sleep, and minimal time in key p

usmcno excuses for not being safe & effective. Every military leader knows the quote, “I am responsible for everything my unit does and fails to do.” During my time in the ROK, I had the most up-to-date radios and military vehicles that were rebuilt from the 1970’s. The point was that no matter how we were equipped and supplied, we were expected to accomplish our missions safely and effectively – no excuses. On a field training exercise in January, the snow and ice made driving armored vehicles very slippery. We had to move 15 miles that took over three to four hours in -15F winter weather in a pitch dark night to make our position for the next exercise. We did it safely and on time. Not one of leaders commented on it, which was good – we were expected to be safe and effective and we were.

Safety in the military is viewed as an integral part of all activities from garrison to combat. Safety of military personnel is

critical. In the military, if you lose a soldier to an accident or to an enemy action, the safety injury is the worse event because that could have been prevented. Leaders enforcing safe activity every step of the way, in person, is also essential. In the winter, when a round became stuck in the mortar tube, a mixture of anti-freeze and water had to be poured in the tube and then the round removed. Standing in support around cold steel, freezing water, and a 25 lbs. mortar round slick with anti-freeze being slowly lifted so a soldier could catch it as it slid down the tube is a critical leadership activity to support safety.

c17aaAggressively look at ways to become even safer. The US Army uses the Risk Management Process, a step-by-step process to analyze critical activities, identify solutions & hazards, and then put in risk mitigation and injury mitigation steps to create a safer work environment. This process works very well for the US Army but it is another procedure, the After Action Review (AAR) that makes the Risk Management Process work well. The AAR is when the entire unit, highest rank to lowest rank, gathers as peers in a circle, reviews what happened, identifies sustainment and improvement items, and then creates a plan to fix the improvement items. Safety items are highlighted in AAR’s. It is the team effort of an AAR to seek improvement and more safety combined with the discipline of the Risk Management Process that creates greater safety.

Safety in the military is viewed as an integral part of all activities from garrison to combat. Safety of military personnel is a critical leader task that is of vital importance.  A focus on safety made us better at our military jobs.  In my opinion, the same principles of safety that the military uses can, and should, be used in the civilian world to make workplaces safer and more productive.

Share some of your recommendations on how to maintain a safe work place!

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How Disney World Took Lessons From The US Military

disney

The New York Times ran a detailed story on a new attraction at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL.  The new Disney Operational Command Center is everything that it sounds like.  A state-of-the-art, technology driven command center in a central, protected location that supervises everything in Disney World to ensure that theme parks guests, employee, and services run smoothly, effectively, and on time.  To a veteran, this news story about an Operations Center (OPCEN) seems like a “easy decision.”  An OPCEN?  There are probably several hundred military OPCEN’s operating globally, 24-7, and under combat conditions.  Why, when Walt Disney does it, this becomes a news story?

The Walt Disney Operational Command Center is news precisely because the adaptation of military concepts to civilian organizations is a vast and great unknown.  Today, Gulf War II veterans (primarily Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans) are less than 0.5% of the US population.  The US public knows very little of what the day-to-day military does; let alone how to adapt military skills and methods to their organizations.  The lack of public knowledge concerning the benefit military methods can and do bring to Disney and countless other organizations are a great advantage point for veterans in their career search and career advancement.

The essential point for a veteran is that they must weave the application of military skills into the organization’s culture and work processes.  The Walt Disney culture is all about teamwork, positive customer experience, authenticity of performers (workers) to their roles, safety, and efficiency in the face of growing crowds.  Knowing this, the Disney Operational Command Center was not seen as a top down command and control center.  Rather, it was a place to monitor ride line length, safe operating conditions, and to mitigate other potential effects of customer dissatisfaction.  The Disney OPCEN supported the company culture and existing work practices.  In this way, the weaving of a military process, the OPCEN, in support of Disney culture of customer satisfaction and customer experience was perfect.

nabyAs you look at potential employer’s and your career progression, understand the problems your company experiences, the culture of how your company operates, and how the military skill set will be a solution to the organization.

Here are three ideas how military skills add value to organizations:

  1. Leverage Your Military Experience to Your Company and Job. Veterans need to translate their military skills to their businesses and organizations in a fashion that supports the culture and work practices of their company.  First, sit down and describe one accomplishment that you performed in the military, the problem that it solved, and why it was successful.  Second, list the skills that you used to accomplish the military task successfully.  Third, list problems within the company that could be solved by using some or these skills.  For example, maybe you started a regular meeting of tribal elder’s or shopkeepers in your AO in Afghanistan to discuss problems and look for solutions.  These meetings produced military skills sets of coordination, negotiation, planning, and leadership.  Could you set up a series of meetings with your company’s customers to generate ideas and discussion on what your company could provide in the future?
  1. Start a Veteran’s Network in Your Organization. You do not have to have all the great ideas.  Get a group of veterans’ together, brainstorm, and plan how to implement military skills to solve your organization’s problems.  Military Veteran Employee Resource Groups (ERG’s) serve a variety of roles to help companies employ more veterans, keep veterans on as employees, serve as a resource base for deployed employees, and help veterans translate military skills into improving the company’s business.  No matter your organization’s size, a military veteran ERG is a great idea.

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  1. “A Desk Is a Dangerous Place from Which to View the World,” – John le Carre. In the military, inspections, field visits, and “walking the line” were an implicit responsibility for leaders at all levels.  In business, conducting field visits with customers, manufacturing locations, and the like can make a dramatic difference in your career, allow you to understand the business, and establish a special relationship with your customers.  If you do not know what to do, get out and look at the problem from your customer’s perspective.

 

Resources to Support an Effective Military to Civilian Transition:

  1. 5 Keys to a Smoother Military Transition – Great Advice to Succeed By @USAA – http://bit.ly/2rI3qKT
  2. After Service: 3 Routes to a Civilian Career – Solid Military to Civilian Transition Advice By @USAA – http://bit.ly/2q8QzAg
  3. Create a Military Transition Fund to Have a Successful Military to Civilian Transition – http://bit.ly/2qMqrhB
  4. USAA Employment Tools to Help Translate Military Skills to Civilian Jobs – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) – http://bit.ly/2q2zsUF
  5. USAA INSIGHT: 3 Ways to Ease Your Shift from Military Service to Civilian Life From @USAA – http://bit.ly/2qMoz8x
  6. USAA Leaving the Military Guide – Advice & Support for a Smooth Transition – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) – http://bit.ly/2rI53Iu
  7. USAA Military Separation Assessment Tool for Financial Planning – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) – http://bit.ly/2q8R8tS
  8. USAA Military Separation Checklist Tool for Planning Your Military to Civilian Transition – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) – bit.ly/2q2RGp5
  9. USAA News – Member’s Easy Military Transition? He Credits Education and Planning – http://bit.ly/2qOdMJc

 

 

The Military Qualities of Success For Business

Mil Qual For BusinessTHIS CONTENT PROVIDED COURTESY OF USAA.

The central premise of translating Military Skills to Business is that a military training and experience provide a core foundation to excel in business and promote the overall financial well being of the corporation.  A secondary premise is military veterans and the employers of military veterans benefit when a military veteran is properly employed and motivated to utilize all their skills for the dual good of the employee’s career and the company’s business success.  The largest gap in this process is that military veterans and the employers of military veterans have not been shown a path or methodology how military veterans experience and training can best be employed to improve company results.  In its barest terms, military veterans have the skills and motivation to contribute more, then just need a pathway to best utilize those skills for the commercial success of a business.  The gap from success in the military to success in the business world is not as great as one might imagine.

Military veterans offer, as a baseline, critical, real world experience; critical decision-making skills; unsurpassed integrity; a strong leadership ethic; Success in execution; and employee coaching and development skills that make them a vital pool to the success of the business.  Additionally, military veterans, due to their core military experience and training, offer essential skills to lead the firm to greater business success.

The Military Qualities of Success

The Military Qualities of Success form the foundation for the successful execution of military operations.  A successful military operation is based upon the following qualities.  These skills are also critical for business to be successful.

caMO2Execution – Execution is the art and process of the successful completion of the military mission and key tasks.  Primarily, this is not the rote, stale execution of a laundry list of tasks that will lead to a successful military execution.  Good execution of a military plan to a successful conclusion requires the adherence to the plan and, more importantly, good “heads up” awareness and personal initiative to know when to depart from and adapt the plan to ensure the objectives of the original military plan are achieved.  Military members know to keep following a plan until the adherence to the plan will not achieve the expected outcomes.  At that point, training, initiative, and personal responsibility take over to adapt their actions to ensure a successful military outcome.

1000w_q95dddddIntelligence – Intelligence is the understanding and incorporation of all aspects of the battlefield environment from weather, terrain, cultural forces, language, the enemy force (s), the civilian population, etc. and how the numerous factors of the battlefield environment will act and react as friendly forces pursue their most likely course of action.  The successful incorporation of Intelligence into military operations not only describes the enemy and how they will act, but also serves as a prediction of their likely courses of action and their anticipated reactions as the friendly strategy is executed.  Good Intelligence is not all knowing.  Good Intelligence provides an accurate depiction of the enemy, how the factors of the battlefield environment such as the terrain and weather will affect the friendly plan, and the most likely actions the enemy will take or plan to take to achieve their outcome.

Planning and Preparation – Planning and Preparation is the art and process of preparing military forces to succeed in combat.  Military planning involves the military orders process that determines objectives, assigns responsibility, and assigns primary and secondary tasks to complete.  Preparation for combat operations involves the rigorous training of the military forces involved in both primary tasks, but also secondary tasks that may be required if a contingency plan will need to be executed.

8dbb6e22bde6dd23a486f6c0c3798347Team Leadership – In the military, a team accomplishes every objective or task of value.  Furthermore, the military possess few if any tools to give service members more money, a less dangerous assignment, or some needed time at home with loved ones.  For example, during the initial days of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, reconnaissance teams spent nearly 2 ½ times as long conducting observation on a planned parachute drop zone than their mission called for.  The team leader, rather than pulling off the objective, motivated his men with the importance of their mission and using personal example setting went on ½ water and rations to stretch their meager supplies so their mission would be a success.  This type of team leadership, while extraordinary, is in fact very common throughout all the US armed forces.  Teams, when motivated and well lead, accomplish amazing things.

Team Member Professional Development – Another leadership skill that the military does exceptionally well in the use of developing subordinate’s skill sets both in soft skills such as leadership and personal skills and in hard skill development such as advanced job training and additional skill qualifications.  The military views subordinate development almost as a chain process where by a lower ranking member is trained, educated, and coached to then assume a position of higher responsibility and so on throughout her career.  Subordinate development is critical because it is executed from one level to the next and to the next, so all members of the military get this development.

PLANETechnical Skills – Technical skills are vital because their mastery is what creates an effective combat fighter.  A Marine may have great planning and leadership experience, but unless she can fire her weapon accurately, operate multiple radio systems, operate counter Improvised Explosive Devise (C-IED) equipment, she may very possibly fail in the successful execution of her military mission.

 

Resources to Support an Effective Military to Civilian Transition:

  1. 5 Keys to a Smoother Military Transition – Great Advice to Succeed By @USAA – http://bit.ly/2rI3qKT
  2. After Service: 3 Routes to a Civilian Career – Solid Military to Civilian Transition Advice By @USAA – http://bit.ly/2q8QzAg
  3. Create a Military Transition Fund to Have a Successful Military to Civilian Transition – http://bit.ly/2qMqrhB
  4. USAA Employment Tools to Help Translate Military Skills to Civilian Jobs – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) – http://bit.ly/2q2zsUF
  5. USAA INSIGHT: 3 Ways to Ease Your Shift from Military Service to Civilian Life From @USAA – http://bit.ly/2qMoz8x
  6. USAA Leaving the Military Guide – Advice & Support for a Smooth Transition – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) – http://bit.ly/2rI53Iu
  7. USAA Military Separation Assessment Tool for Financial Planning – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) – http://bit.ly/2q8R8tS
  8. USAA Military Separation Checklist Tool for Planning Your Military to Civilian Transition – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) – bit.ly/2q2RGp5
  9. USAA News – Member’s Easy Military Transition? He Credits Education and Planning – http://bit.ly/2qOdMJc

How To Prepare To Join The Military

Preparing to join the military is a great way to get your military and civilian career off to a great start. To start your military career right from Day One, there are some vitally important factors for you to consider so you can be successful in your initial training as well as your follow on or advanced training. This advice is for anyone planning to join any military service.

Prepare To Join The Military

Prepare To Join The Military

Preparing To Join The Military Tip #1 – Start Talking to Recruiters A Year Out. If you are considering enlisting or joining an officer commissioning program, make a plan to go and speak to all the service recruiters. If you are set on the Marines, then go and explore your options with the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, and the Air Force. If you are just interested in the Air Force, then talk to the Army, Marines, Coast Guard, and the Navy. At this point, you “don’t know what you don’t know.” Speaking to recruiters from all military services will give you a very good idea of the full range of positions, training, and signing bonus that are available to you. At any point in joining the military, there are a range of opportunities that are and are not available based on the current size of the respective services. Speaking to all the recruiters gives you a good idea of what is truly available.

 

Preparing to Join The Military Tip #2 – Drugs, Legal Violations, Some Tattoo’s, Obesity & Fitness Level Are What Ruin People’s Military Dreams. There is a large group of people that want desperately to join the military but cannot due to violations of the military service standards that bar them from joining the military and entering service. As a broad rule, the use of illegal drugs; legal convictions of criminal activity; some tattoo’s on the face, neck or hands; personal weight levels above the service standard, and the inability to successfully complete a basic physical fitness test are what remove candidates from consideration for military service. The best advice is to avoid any and all activities that will disqualify you from military service.

Preparing to Join The Military Tip #3 – Get In Good Overall Shape. Your goal for fitness and bodyweight should be to get in the best overall shape that you can. You want to balance strength training and cardiovascular fitness because too much strength training could hurt your run times and too much running may leave you susceptible to injury and not passing the push-ups and pull-ups to military standard. There are a number of excellent fitness programs that you can pursue.

Preparing to Join The Military Tip #4 – Do Well On Your High School GPA & Graduate. After the fitness disqualifications to military service, a lack of a high school degree with a decent GPA is next. A high school degree and a good GPA that will help you do well on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) – a test that partially controls what military specialties that you can sign up to perform. Graduating high school on time and with a good GPA is a must have to start your military career.

Preparing To Join The Military Tip #5 – Prepare for Times When Military Service Is Awful. At my first duty station in Korea, the January weather was so cold that the water buffalo’s froze inside of heated tents which made serving hot food impossible. We had limited MRE’s because they were all in the Middle East so we ate beef jerky or nothing because the peanut butter sandwiches froze. It was a horrible time in the field. You can do all the fitness and preparation, but your mind has to be prepared to suffer, and suffer mightily. Military recruits that are not prepared to suffer and to perform their best while suffering are challenged to complete a term of military service.

Talking early to recruiters, staying away from activities that disqualify you for military service, being in good shape, possessing a completed high school degree, and having your attitude focused on surpassing suffering while still serving well is how you succeed.  Have a successful military career and have fun.

THIS ARTICLE REPUBLISHED COURTESY OF USAA.  ORIGINAL PUBLISHED IN USAA MEMBER COMMUNITY HERE.