CHANGE LEADERS

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- "There is nothing permanent except change." This is certainly true in the Air Force. 

I have been in the Air Force for 18 years and I cannot begin to list all the changes I have seen in my time. Change is inevitable in our profession and must be expected and dealt with as it comes. 

Being a career personnelist, I have witnessed many changes in my career field that affects not just those who wear the personnel and services badge, but all Airmen. Some changes happen and they are taken relatively easy by most and then there are some changes that are hard for many to adjust to because it takes them out of their comfort zone.

Most recently the Air Force announced major changes to the enlisted evaluation system and it has caused great concern for many Airmen. However, this is the time when great leaders and supervisors come into play. When there is angst and uncertainty amongst Airmen, leaders must be there to help Airmen accept and understand the reasoning behind the change. Supervisors must explain to their Airmen that Air Force senior leaders make changes that are necessary. Changes are made to ensure the Air Force is operating efficiently and fairly. Supervisors are charged with upholding the decisions of their leaders and walking their Airmen through the process of change and explaining the "what's and whys" and making their Airmen feel confident that the changes are for the betterment of the organization. 

Change can be difficult but with a good supervisor and leader it does not have to be traumatic for Airmen. Whether the change affects the Airmen personally, operationally or financially, it is imperative that they know their leaders understand the challenges, support the decisions and are there to help them understand the new processes and get through the initial challenges that accompany every permanent change.