Don't Get FIGMO'd

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen. Richard Devereaux
  • 82nd Training Wing commander
As many of you may have heard, my next assignment was announced last week. Elizabeth and I will be moving on to Scott AFB, Illinois sometime this Summer. I'm not sure exactly when the change of command will be yet, but July is probably a good guess. The new 82 TRW/CC will be Brig Gen O.G. Mannon, who is currently the Director of Special Operations Directorate on the Joint Staff. "O.G." and his wife Barbara are great people. We were fortunate to be stationed with them at RAF Mildenhall, UK, a few years ago and I can tell you they are a perfect match for Sheppard, and they are extremely excited about coming here. As much as we hate to leave, I'm so thankful to be leaving the wing in the hands of such a great commander, officer, and leader like Gen Mannon. And of course, I'm so thankful the Air Force saw fit to place me at Sheppard AFB--by far this has been the most challenging and rewarding assignment in my 30-year career. There will be heel marks as they drag me north to Scott AFB!

Of course, I'm not the only one who will be PCSing this Summer. Typically, about 1/3 of our active duty military population at Sheppard rotates out each year, most during the Summer months. I remember back in the "old days" when someone was due to PCS they typically described themselves as being "FIGMO'd" (Fantastic, I Got My Orders!)--or something like that. Being FIGMO'd often had a negative connotation, meaning that someone with PCS orders spent more time looking forward to their next job, instead of the one they were sitting in. Back in those days, with a large active duty population and lots of assignment overlap, the Air Force perhaps could afford a little of this FIGMO mindset creeping into our organizations. But not today. As a lean, heavily-deployed Air Force, we need everyone to focus on the job at hand and be dedicated to contributing 100% to their piece of the mission until the day they move on to their assignment. So if you got orders this Summer, be happy, but don't get FIGMO'd. I certainly won't.

My philosophy has always been to do my job as if I were keeping it forever. I'd encourage you to do the same. Never leave a new initiative or program for the "new guy" to take on. If a new idea or task is worth pursuing, it's usually worth doing right now. Despite my short time left here at Sheppard, I plan to meet with my senior commanders and staff in May at an offsite to help chart the course of the wing over the next couple of years. Although these plans will continue to be refined and changed, it's crucial to always have a plan that the "next guy" can implement, adjust, or enhance. We owe that to our people--especially our long-serving Civilian Airmen who watch us active duty Airmen come and go. So my pledge to you is that I'll be on the job till my last day at Sheppard trying to make our wing better and better.

So I'll save my goodbyes for the Change-of-Command this Summer. Between now and then . . .we've got work to do.

Please be safe this weekend. Thanks for getting us back to DUI Condition Green. Although we had a DUI last weekend, we're down to 3 over the last 90 days--a definite trend in the right direction!