Self-Inspection Program: Ensuring mission readiness

  • Published
  • By Jerry Kain
  • 341st Space Wing Chief of Plans
Self-inspections are documented internal reviews using job-specific checklists developed by career-field experts. Diligent completion of these checklists identifies the critical things you need to correct in order to better accomplish the mission.
You are assessing yourself on how well you are doing your job. If you pencil whip the self-inspection and don't take it seriously, you're only fooling yourself and hurting your fellow wingmen. It is important that we exhibit the Air Force core values, especially "Excellence in All We Do," as we conduct our semi-annual self-inspections now to prepare for future inspections.

Here are some tips I can offer for a successful self-inspection program:

Read your Air Force Instructions. The instructions tell you what we do and why we do it. The checklists are developed to comply with the instructions and tell you how to accomplish those requirements. Reading and following the procedures of the 341 SWI 90-101 enables you to combine knowledge with understanding in order to reach smooth execution.

Be honest. Rather than ignoring a problem, tell your supervisor of the problem and then fix it. It is easier and less painful to correct a self-identified problem rather than have someone outside your organization address it.

Enlist outside help. If you are unfamiliar with the self-inspection program, contact your squadron's Self-Inspection Monitor - normally a senior NCO or an officer. They can offer you guidance on how to run your checklist.

Trade self-inspectors. Allowing an outsider to run your checklist will help you identify things you have missed. For example, all squadrons have a Government Purchase Card holder who runs the same checklist as yours. Why not trade self-inspectors? Others are bound to see things you may have missed.

Explain your answers. It is easy to speed through the checklist with "yes" or "no" answers, but it is important to take your time and provide proof for your answer. The justifications for "yes" responses and explanations of "no" responses are what provides the proof of your program's thoroughness. Not only is this common sense, but it is also a requirement.

Document the results. It is important following an exercise or self-inspection to input all discrepancies into the SIP database to insure proper tracking until they are closed. Also, monthly updates to actions taken need to be put in the database.

The bottom line is that the Self-Inspection Program is a Unit Commander's responsibility and requires your due diligence in order to provide a valid assessment. If you have any questions regarding your SIP, please feel free to contact your unit Self-Inspection Monitor or Master Sgt. Justin Medeiros at 731-7789.