Q&A; you ask, we answer

  • Published
  • By Col. Sal Nodjomian
  • 96th Air Base Wing Commander
While I was preparing for my first commander's call this summer, I was told not to expect a great deal of questions.

I suspected three main reasons why questions weren't frequently asked: people don't feel comfortable talking in front of large crowds; people fear embarrassment if their questions don't come out right; and, some people feel their question won't be genuinely answered.

Because I truly wanted my first commander's call to be an interactive event, I decided to do things a little differently. To encourage participation, I asked my staff to hand out index cards for questions prior to each session. I was pleasantly surprised by the overwhelmingly positive response. People had both amazing and relevant things to ask; 23 of the 34 questions received required us to research and answer issues that were significant to the better part of Eglin's populace.

I viewed these cards as legitimate concerns from caring people who thought about these things and deserved answers. I want everyone who took the time to ask a question to know their issues have been or will be addressed. It's a personal interest of mine to seek closure to these issues.

As detailed responses came in, they were posted on Team Eglin's Facebook page and emailed to the entire wing. Two weeks ago I asked for an update on those items that did not have a firm answer or needed more research and evaluation. For example, the library was asked to survey patrons to determine if longer hours were needed. Concerns with traffic flow at the West Gate and around the new EOD dorms require continued analysis to create the best solution. Also, transportation studies need time to incorporate input from state and local agencies.

I look forward to my second set of commander's calls on Dec. 8. Please come prepared with questions, whether you ask them in person or you jot them down on the index cards we'll provide. Most importantly, I ask for your energy and interaction so we can make these sessions valuable for all involved.

As leaders, one of our most important responsibilities is to provide for our people. That means hearing the issues, discussing the issues, and working solutions whenever possible. It is foundational to our wing's leadership and it's codified by our wing motto: Superior Support...All The Time.

(Editor's note: Become a fan of the Team Eglin Facebook page, www.facebook/teameglin, look under the notes section to find the updates to the answers of the original Aug. 30 post)