By Donna Miles
WASHINGTON, July 24, 2006 – Everyone within the Defense Department makes an important contribution to the overall mission, so it's critical that every member -- military, civilian and contractor alike -- ensure they do their jobs right. That's the message behind "Check It," a new Defense Department campaign that Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England will launch later this week. Check It aims to raise awareness about the importance of internal management controls. That's a fancy term used in financial and private-sector circles that basically boils down to the lesson most people learned as kids: If you're going to do a job, do it right.
The goal of the Check It campaign is to remind the defense community that the country is counting on every one of them to make sure the job gets done and gets done right, said DoD comptroller Tina Jonas, whose office is sponsoring the Check It campaign. That applies whether they're directly supporting the war effort or making sure all DoD's operations run as efficiently and effectively as possible. "It is really important as a team in the department that we are all working together to make sure that we do our job right," Jonas said. That will ensure the mission gets accomplished in the most effective, efficient and safe way possible, she said.
Within DoD, cutting corners or overlooking critical details can cost more than dollars, Jonas said. It can cost lives. "In our business, we have got soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines out there doing their job every day," she said. "(If) we don't ours correctly or we miss something or are imprecise, it can cost a life."
The program applies at all levels throughout the department, from top commanders to the most junior troops, and throughout the civilian workforce. "We want each person to do their job the way it should be done, correctly, for a better outcome for a better mission," she said. For a warfighter in the field, it might be rechecking to ensure a weapon has been properly loaded, she said. For a pilot, it's going through the standard pre-flight checklist.
But Jonas emphasized that Check It goes beyond those with direct combat missions. For someone working in security, it might mean pausing to think, "Did I close that lock the way it should be closed?" she said. For someone processing payroll actions, it might mean considering: "Have we taken the quality checks we need to make sure a paycheck is done on time and in the right amount?"
Jonas said she's impressed by the DoD workforce and hopes to see its members extend their passion for the mission to a passion for ensuring it's carried out the best way possible, each and every day. "So it would be a passion for making sure that we check it, that things get done right, and that we all do the very best we can to accomplish the mission," she said. "And that is what the Check It campaign is really all about."