Cost conscious culture is for everyone

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Stephan Coleman
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs
A "cost conscious culture" is less daunting than it sounds. Perhaps it's the alliteration, or the fact that math might be involved, that puts a barrier between Airmen and C3, but it's important to understand that C3 as a whole is more an idea than a program.

An initiative from Gen. Edward Rice Jr., commander of Air Education and Training Command, C3 is a culture shift toward a higher understanding about the cost of our daily activities in the Air Force and at Keesler. It is about innovation.

Coincidentally, during his remarks on the economy in Elkhart, Ind., Aug. 5, 2009, President Barack Obama said "The United States led the world's economies in the 20th century because we led the world in innovation. Today, the competition is keener, the challenge is tougher, and that is why innovation is more important than ever. It is how we will ensure a high quality of life for this generation and future generations."

Every dollar saved through new cost-conscious plans can be used where needs are the greatest. This will help everyone.

Implementation of cost-saving ideas is accomplished a number of ways. First, there is the C3 awards program on both the wing and AETC levels. Ideas can be submitted online by individuals and by teams.

No idea is too small, especially if it can be used by other departments. For example, if each AETC Airman saves just $3 per day, the command can save $37 million in a year, according to the AETC website.

Along with the main awards push is the Air Force Innovative Development through Employee Awareness program. The conveniently-acronymed IDEA program adds a financial incentive to the culture of critical thinking and welcomes process-improving or resource-saving ideas from military and civilian employees. Means of submission are available online at the Keesler and AETC websites.

If those two avenues aren't enough, the Air Force-wide "Every Dollar Counts" campaign from Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Larry Spencer began Wednesday. This program pushes for more open communication and ease of idea submission for all uniformed and civilian Air Force personnel.

It's possible that ideas may get numerically technical, but in the simplest terms: "Any money we save, we keep," said Senior Airman Amber Bell, 81st Comptroller Squadron and Keesler C3 coordinator. "Unnecessary spending is diverted to areas where we need it to continue the mission."

Regardless of the financial state of our nation, it is in line with our core values to cut down on waste and encourage innovation. Accomplishing the mission as efficiently as possible is in everyone's interest, and all it takes is a little critical thinking and communication.

For more information:
AETC C3 website:
C3 website: