Following are excerpts from new guidance by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein to senior military and civilian officials on managing during the Coronavirus pandemic, containing advice pertinent to all agencies.
“Many of you will likely have an individual on your base or in your community who will test positive for the virus in the weeks ahead. In addition, you are dealing with daily closures of schools, child development centers and the challenge of staying connected with local community leaders, health agencies and state governance. Every day brings new challenges and opportunities and no situation presents a one-size-fits-all approach. You must tailor your response to fit your community situation.”
“Set proper expectations. Your Airmen and families will appreciate candor, not coddling. We don’t know when this will end. We don’t know a lot. Don’t make things up. Tell them what you do know and share what you don’t. Not your job to fix this. Your job is to lead.”
“This is when you make your money as a commander. The organization is going to ride on your calm, cool, collected and measured, while intense, approach to the crisis. If you are frazzled and all over the map, you are part of the problem. If you are the adult in the room that provides direction but empowers your subordinate leaders to take action, you win.”
“You need to be up and out with local community leaders, state leadership and health agencies. They are facing similar challenges. Where possible, you should build on the relationships already established to band together as one team. Our families live, work and play in the community. Now’s the time to work closely with Mayors, the Governor, and Inter-Agency teams to weather the storm. You are stronger together.”
“You must take care of yourself so you can take care of others. Doesn’t do us any good if you work 14 hour days and then catch the virus or go down for the count . . . We’re in this for a few months, maybe longer, nobody knows. Get your personal OPTEMPO right so you can lead by example and have the physical and mental fitness to endure.”