Being aware to protect ourselves

  • Published
  • By Col. Diane Hull
  • 319th Air Refueling Wing commander
The military is notorious for developing its own "secret" code word. When it comes to Air Force language, "For your SA" or "FYSA" are common ways to say "For your situational awareness." Many of us have probably received an e-mail from our superiors or subordinates that had FYSA affixed to the header.

Situational awareness is much more than saying "FYSA" in a quick e-mail. True SA is an ongoing process that we need to pay attention to and constantly improve. You've seen the moments when people lose their awareness. Perhaps it's the guy who doesn't stop his vehicle during the playing of Reveille or Retreat, the person who daydreams during a staff meeting, or the co-worker who gets caught up in the heat of the moment and forgets to follow standard procedures.

As Airmen, losing our SA can have significant consequences - lives, equipment or money may be lost if we're not constantly alert and focused on the task at hand.

Professionalism is also at stake when we lose our SA. Have you ever witnessed someone get too lackadaisical with their customs and courtesies because they lost track of whose company they were in? That mistake may result in a bad first impression or cause irreparable damage to one's reputation.

Maintaining situational awareness must become a way of life because Warriors of the North support the warfighters down range; we owe those men and women the very best we have to offer. Similarly, when it's our turn to serve down range, we expect nothing but the best from those who support us. Stay alert, be vigilant and keep your SA.