Your chain of command is here to help

  • Published
  • By Col. Sandra Finan
  • 341st Space Wing Commander
I hope everyone had a chance to enjoy some well-deserved time off and enjoy it with friends and family over the holidays. You have all worked hard to earn it.

Now that we're all getting back, I'd like to take time to emphasize the importance and utility of your chain of command. Following your chain of command is a very basic principle that was heavily covered in your basic military training ... and for a good reason ... it is a very effective way of communicating and resolving issues. Take a minute to refresh yourselves on how the chain of command works.

From the most junior enlisted Airmen to the highest-ranking officers, everyone has their place within the chain of command. And with the exception of the President of the United States, there is always someone higher than you in that chain to help you resolve issues at the appropriate level.

If you are faced with a situation that makes you uncomfortable, or one that isn't being handled correctly or addressed at all, identify it to your first-line supervisor for resolution. This is your first line of defense. First-line supervisors have a responsibility to you to determine an appropriate response. First-line supervisors must also know when to elevate issues in their chain of command until the situation is brought to an appropriate resolution.

If that doesn't happen, there are other resources available within the chain of command ... section chiefs, first sergeants and squadron commanders are always available. Depending on the type of situation, there are other outside agencies to assist, such as the legal office, the area defense counsel, the chapel, life skills, military equal opportunity and the inspector general office. The Air Force has set up a series of opportunities for each and every member to ensure that leadership at all levels is made aware and has the opportunity to fix problems.

Lastly, there is also the Commander's Access Line, which is direct link to me. If you are not satisfied with all your prior attempts within the chain of command to resolve your problem or concern, call the Action Line at 406-731-HELP (4357) or send an e-mail to You will be encouraged to include your name and a phone number when you call, for more information if needed, and so I can ensure you are provided with a personal response.

Just as we all celebrate our victories as a team, let's work any potential issues as a team as well.