First impressions are lasting impressions

Master Sgt. Gary McCarty

First impressions make a lasting impact on us and more importantly, they only happen once.
It is part of our human nature. We are programmed to immediately make assessments on an individual’s appearance, speech and personality, and how we treat and are treated by those we meet the first time.
We have been trained in all aspects of military bearing, and dress and appearance.
We know image is everything. Air Force Instruction 36-2903 is one instruction that helps guide us in this effort.
Our uniforms must be clean and serviceable and we should never need a haircut.
We must polish our boots and wear our hats whenever we are outside. We must render proper salutes to officers and it is the junior member’s responsibility to initiate that action.
However, do we really think about the first impression we make?
What about when we interact with our co-workers and our customers?
Consider this when you are interacting on a daily basis with your coworkers or customers:
I — Integrity. Follow the Air Force core value of “Integrity.”
M — Motivate. Are you motivated to be at work or just show up?
P — Pride. Take pride in yourself and your work area.
R — Respect. Acknowledge those you come in contact with and treat them with the respect you expect to be treated with.
E — Excellence. Demonstrate the Air Force core values by showing “Excellence in all we do.”
S — Speak. Always address people by their title and name and speak clearly.
S — Service. Show devotion to the Air Force core value of “Service before Self.”
I — Improve. How can you improve your performance and appearance?
O — Ownership. Take ownership of every task assigned to you.
N — Needs. Try to understand your troops have needs and exceed their expectations.
It is worth thinking about the first impressions we make. Isn’t it the right thing to do to treat others the way we would like to be treated?