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Would you stake your life, right now, on the condition of your equipment?
NEWS | March 6, 2023

Half-Mast Sends: Lose the 'Rabbit Habit'

BLUF: Cutting corners may save time, but it can also result in consequences.

Soldier checking PMCS list
Photo by Staff Sgt. David Beckstrom
This article initially appeared in PS 736, p.1 (Mar 14). 

Many of us know the old fable about the tortoise and the hare. There’s a good lesson there.

While it’s tempting to cut corners to save time, remember that rushing through PMCS, especially those oh-so-essential checklists, can result in ugly consequences.
It’s not usually new Soldiers who are guilty of cutting corners. Most of them still go by the book because they haven’t memorized it yet.
The worst danger is the kind that comes with complacency—like the long-time chief mechanic who’s memorized the ins-and-outs of PMCS and thinks the checklist in his head is good enough. We don’t argue the expertise part. Chief probably does know his job inside-out, even upside down. But it only takes forgetting a critical step once.
The Army’s Knowledge* magazine is full of first person stories—hard lessons learned when overconfidence outweighed common sense for just a sec.
These true-life tales are sober reminders that, though a visual checklist may seem like a crutch to some of us, it sure beats the real kind of crutches. It also rings true that saving a stitch of time now isn’t worth stitches later. So let’s lose that ‘rabbit habit.’ Purposeful and steady wins the PMCS race.
*Note: Knowledge magazine is now known as Risk Management magazine
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