TOWARDS FEWER FAUX PAS AND GAFFES
Many things that an Air Force Officer and his wife should or should not do, are not specifically covered by regulations or in the various officers' guides and précis which one is handed out, from time to time. Many of the `Dos' and `Don'ts' are a matter of sacred tradition, passed on by word of mouth and by example, by older members of the service, to new comers.
Others are a matter of regimental grooming, schooling, common sense and, above all, breeding. Although unwritten, they have become laws, having stood the test of time. Their proper observance and manifest awareness distinguish a well-disciplined and elegant professional from the undisciplined and marginal flotsam-and-jetsam of the officer corps.
Your conduct, attitude and speech at every waking moment, in uniform and in civvies, bring credit or ignominy not only to yourselves but also to the Section Commander/Squadron Commander/AOC you serve under. Also, most importantly, your parents and your family name (this is assuming that we all have great respect and consideration for our bosses at work and pride in the family honour and name!) get sullied most undeservedly.
The subsequent part may please be ignored by those who do not fall under the above classification of Indian citizens!!
To help you know the right thing to do (and to do it every time) I have made a list of the most commonly unknown or ignored points. I wish to pass it on to those of you who MUST have it: to some who SHOULD have it and, to the few, who COULD have it, as a useful guide. Primarily meant for officers of all shapes, sizes and hues, they would also be quite useful and interesting to those wives and dependants who are unaware of their existence, due either to lacunae in their schooling/background or to indifferent/ignorant officers or ...
At Work And Off Duty
Leadership, Discipline and Human Relations. There is nothing "human" about the treatment received in the early stages as a Cadet. Discipline must be taught first -- the hardest way. it is fatal folly to substitute buddy-buddy human relations and other attractive `management' techniques for rigorous, early discipline. There is enough scope and time for trying out all that fancy stuff later in life.
In motor-vehicles, the senior sits on the left of the back seat. He is the first to enter and the first to leave. If asked to join your senior who is already seated, enter through the right door and do not sail over his feet. When couple enters a car, the right rear door must be held open for the lady to enter, so that she has a ready cue on what to do. She doesn't get in and then crab sideward - the seats are probably already wiped clean.
As regards your headgear and smoking when seated in a Service transport, take your cue from the MTD. Would you tolerate his taking his cap off and smoking? You have the answer to your options!
Walking in Steps. Officers in uniform should always walk in step, the junior on the left. Adjust your stride to your senior's and he will meet you halfway.
Lead the Way. When showing a senior, an inspector or a visitor around, lead the way. He does not know which way to go and what to see. He might turn into a dirty corner or bump into the closet hiding all your skeletons.
Punctuality. Use your expensive watch to reach five minutes before you are due, instead of using it merely as a piece of redundant jewellery. Recall the last time you were furious when you were stood-up by some one. Be sure you never make anyone wait for you, either at work, at play or at parties-private or official. Send word if you are held up unavoidably.
Nicknames. When referring to your subordinates or the superior of your senior, call them by their ranks and last names. In the first case, your senior may not know who "good old Joe" is; in the second, he may not relish the idea of your knowing his superior so...
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