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NEWS | Oct. 31, 2011

Muncy: Guard members should use three key steps to deal with change

By Tech. Sgt. John Orrell National Guard Bureau

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Resiliency, flexibility and preparation are three key steps for Guard members preparing for potential changes coming to the Defense Department, the Air National Guard's command chief master sergeant said here Sunday.

 "If you're an Airman and you sit in your work center and you don't want to adapt to change, then we thank you for your service and we appreciate it, but we need adaptable Airman … it's a strength we have," said Air Force Command Chief Master Sgt. Christopher Muncy.

In times like these, Muncy said he turns to Air Force Instruction 36-2618, regarding the enlisted force structure, from which he has developed his focus on what he calls the "three Be's."

"Be technically ready, be physically ready and be mentally ready," he said.

Be technically ready

Becoming technically ready is part of the flexibility and preparation key steps, Muncy said, it's "your technical competencies with your specialty and anything you can grab to be that specialist, or that leader of specialists, or that superintendent of the leaders or specialists."

He stressed this is done through communication, training and adaptability.

"Look outside of your specialty," Muncy said in an interview here before the Air National Guard Enlisted Leader Symposium. "Talk to your senior leaders and ask, 'What's the next look? What are current and future trends? What are you reading and seeing out there?'

"Find your senior leaders in uniform and ask, 'What do you see? What are you getting briefed on? What's the out mission set?' Maybe that will tweak something in you and what you have to be prepared for."

Being technically ready is also about making sure Guard members do everything they can to best position themselves personally and professionally through education, he said.

"The standard basic sets are still there. You need to be the best-skilled in your specialty. You need to have your personal development pieces done," Muncy said. " That's the professional military education side, getting it done in as many different avenues and venues as you can. And have your civilian education set up.

"If every two years you're not in some sort of school - whether it be professional or self-development - then you're probably falling behind just a bit."

Be physically ready

Being physically ready is part of all three of the key steps, he said. If the body is as strong as the mind, then Guard members will position themselves for success.

Muncy said this is not only part of doing what is in the regulations and meeting the standards, but creating a lifestyle, a change that will make every Guard member ready to go when the call is made.

"Maintain an excellent physical fitness level, so that you're ready to be used when needed, such as promotion, deployment, job movement and other ways the Guard may need to use you," he said.

Be mentally ready

Being mentally ready is part of the resiliency key step, Muncy said.

"This is leaning forward, being a better individual," he said. "Learn the skill sets that make you more resilient, because through this change you need to be able to cope and to be leaned on. You need to stay sharp all the time.

"Your mental readiness, your coping skills and your resiliency through change are your strength.

"I think that's what makes great leaders. Those that have been able to adapt and get their people to adapt can roll through change.

"When you show your adaptability, that's what [senior leadership] like to see. Your ability to cope and resiliency is a huge piece of the puzzle."

Muncy said he is confident Guard members will continue to be an "ever-changing force 375 years in the making," and as long as they develop themselves, they will stay relevant, timely and dependable.

"Just keep pushing, you cannot learn enough, and you cannot gain enough in knowledge," Muncy said. "If you ever become complacent … then it's time to leave, because the train has already passed you."



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