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.

Do the right thing

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Steve McDonald
  • 451st Air Expeditionary Wing Command Chief

There are some things that I believe are just plain right.  I believe that it is right that every Airman receives proper guidance and feedback from their supervisor.  I believe that it is right that supervisors rate their Airmen truthfully on Enlisted Performance Reports.  I believe that it is right to expect Airmen to know the standards and to uphold them at all times.  I believe that it is right that people get rewarded for outstanding performance.  I believe that it is right that honesty will be rewarded over duplicity.  I believe that it is right that goodness wins over evil.


I have been around long enough to know that these things are not always true; they don't always happen.  But does that mean that I have to change what I believe or my pursuit of what is right?  Of course not.  Don't let circumstances or other people change what you think is right.  When you are in the position to do what you believe is right, don't be dissuaded from your course of action.  Admiral Chester Nimitz said it this way, "God grant me the courage not to give up what I think is right even though I think it is hopeless."


But who would continue to pursue trying to change things that have always been a certain way and don't show any signs of changing?  That seems like futility.  There are a couple of issues in the Air Force where this comes to light.  One area is EPR inflation.  I have heard about EPR inflation my entire career.  Another area is drinking and driving in the Air Force.       DUIs have been an issue my entire career as well.  All of us have heard the message.  We know that EPRs should accurately reflect performance.  We know that we shouldn't drink and drive.  Is there anything more that can be said or anything more that can be done?  I don't know, but I do know that the right thing to do is continue to try.  As supervisors and leaders, there is always something that we can do.  It's our responsibility to try.


At some point, you may find yourself doubting the impact of your actions.  You may wonder if you are making a difference.  It's easy to get frustrated when some things don't change, no matter how much attention you give them.  Another quote I like to refer to is from the book of Galatians in the Bible, "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season, we shall reap if we do not lose heart."


Do you want some good advice?  Here it is.  Do the right thing.  And in those instances where the results aren't what you hoped for, my advice would be to continue to do the right thing.