Key items for an Outstanding rating

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- As a former Air Force Mobility Command inspector, I would like to back-up the words you are hearing from 17th Training Wing Plans and Programs office and your unit commanders.

You should be hearing how enthusiasm, confidence, professionalism and knowledge are all key factors in showing that your programs deserve an outstanding rating.

I have inspected all AFMC bases except for one, and was a lead inspector controlling more than 140 inspectors for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base's Unit Compliance Inspection in 2007. I would like to share a little bit of insight from my overall experience as a former Inspector.

The biggest factor for me when I was inspecting and talking to base personnel was enthusiasm. I was looking for the individual that was excited about their programs and going above and beyond everyone else. If the individual seemed positive, upbeat and was proud to show all the great things they had done with the program, I would tend to be more willing to listen and go into teaching mode when minor mistakes were found. I knew that the individual would take my findings to heart and correct it immediately, and these things were usually done before I closed out my report.

On the other hand, if I ran into a program where I was not receiving much cooperation or minimal dialogue exchange, I would run my checklist and try to ask additional questions. These situations would force me to dig deeper into the programs to see if I could find the answers myself, but most often it would result in me locating more findings.

This is not the way you want your program inspected. You need to be showcasing your program and not having your inspector pulling the information out of you.

The other two areas that were important to me was a show of confidence and knowledge by the person being interviewed. You need to speak clearly and be confident that you are doing everything the checklist requires and then some. This shows that you are in tune with your program and it is not something that you just dusted off the shelf for an inspection. If the inspector asks for a specific document, you need to be able to put hands on it in seconds and not keep the inspector waiting by searching through your computer or files to locate it.

My last area that would clue me in to the status of a program was the professionalism of the individual. The main take away here was organization of the program binder and individual's work area. If things looked professional and items were easy to locate, then I knew the individual was on the ball and keeping up with all the required details. If they polished up their program and made it look professional, then I knew they were taking care of business and probably paying the same amount of attention to detail to the entire program. I would know then that I wasn't going to find much.

I would then move on to look for the person that was unorganized, such as not caring about items being tabbed and not having any sense of order or logic to where items or located. Your overall level of professionalism sends a signal on what kind of care you are giving to your program. This could ultimately decide if the inspector is going to want to pay you a little extra attention.

Bottom line! If you just know your program well and hit all the key notes from the checklist, and have a few key areas that you improved upon and everything looks sharp including your work area. You will more than likely pull an Excellent or even an Outstanding!