More than a slogan: Have you had the talk?

  • Published
  • By Editorial Staff
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
Every morning an Airman must look him or herself in the eyes when they put on the U.S. Air Force uniform and respect the job they do. When it's time to socialize and the uniform comes off, it is only figuratively off. They are still Airmen 24/7, 365 days a year. It is a responsibility, as our commander again emphasized this month speaking to both commanders and dorm residents.

Recently, there has been an increase in alcohol-related incidents particularly with Andersen dormitory residents -- clearly the result of poor decision-making and judgment while under the influence. While the majority of Team Andersen enjoy themselves safely and look out for one another, the rapid repetition of similar lapses in judgment indicate the need for a re-attack, if you will, of supervisory intervention.

This has got to be done personally, eyeball to eyeball. We have a mission and on- and off-duty creed, but it takes a supervisor to humanize what's behind the phrase "I can save my own life." It takes a mentor to convey that everyone has someone who cares about them and that whatever actions they choose to take directly impacts those people and the nation they serve.

While leadership on Andersen will not create rules to prevent Airmen from drinking alcohol, neither will we be rewarded for what is expected to be professional behavior. And no one will be absolved of the responsibility of their actions because of their age.

Leadership will not dictate how Airmen should enjoy their lives, but they are encouraged to do it smartly. When attending a party or social engagement, have someone in the group who will stay sober and accept the responsibility for the safety of everyone in that group. And that person must also be able to stop individuals from making senseless choices.

For some, it may be unfortunate responsibility like this comes with the raising of a hand and taking of an oath. It may be unfortunate because they are not ready for it. Have you had the talk and sat down with the Airmen for whom you're responsible? Regardless of the reason we have become Airmen, we are -- with a capital A. And the responsibility is there.