• Safety springs forward

    It has been one long and frigid winter, but spring has finally arrived. Many of us were hibernating in our homes all winter and are eager to get out and enjoy the warm weather. Many will be excited to take part in activities the cold kept them from enjoying such as mountain biking, hiking, boating and motorcycle riding. While these activities may
  • Alcohol Awareness Month - Understanding alcohol's impact

    Since 1987, April has been designated Alcohol Awareness Month in the United States. The purpose of this designation is to raise awareness of how we use alcohol and its effects. Though the observance has obviously been around for 23 years, I sometimes wonder if we as Airmen fully understand the impact alcohol abuse can have upon us and others. If we
  • The plague of modern man, stress

    Stress can be an everyday option and most of us choose it, or at least choose to do nothing about it because it appears difficult to avoid. According to Dr. Margaret Davis, stress can be defined as "any change you must adapt to," ranging from actual threat of danger to the excitement of falling in love. Stress lurks around every corner and we tend
  • A sense of history

    In 1994 I was deployed to southern France supporting Operation Deny Flight. During the 50th anniversary of the D-day invasion of Normandy, which began the liberation of France and the defeat of Nazi Germany. This was the only time I've ever sent back for my service dress uniform during a deployment. I was asked to represent the U.S. Air Force
  • What service before self really means

    Recent events have given me the opprtunity to reflect on Air Force core values -- integrity, service before self and excellence in all we do. The one I hold above all others is service before self. This simple little three word phrase, in my opinion, is the bedrock of our nation's armed forces and the invisible fabric that binds us together to
  • Will it be gold or platinum?

    Remember when you were 10 and you got into arguments with your friends or siblings? Loud arguments, occasionally accompanied by pushing or shoving just for good measure. Your mother would look at you with those disappointed eyes and say, "Remember the golden rule. Treat people the way you want to be treated." How do I know your mom so well? Because
  • Discipline in daily life

    In recent weeks, I've had to confront the issue of discipline, many times under very different circumstances. Perhaps it was coincidence, or uncanny timing, that the 55th Wing's latest "Shanagram" addressed the same topic. Discipline is certainly a topic worth reflection ... it's a trait that is often misunderstood, yet is paramount to our approach
  • Are you an Airman?

    Are you an Airman? Honestly? Seems like a pretty easy question. I wear the Air Force's uniform, I work on an Air Force Base, I get paid twice a month by the Air Force ... I must be an Airman, right? Well, maybe. However, I believe being an Airman is a bit more than what you wear, where you work and who pays you.The thought for this commentary came
  • The importance of attitude, resiliency to a career

    If you want to have a successful military career I have two words for you to remember -- attitude and resiliency. I believe these two words play a major role in how we're perceived by others and how we take on life's challenges. Hopefully, the next few paragraphs demonstrate the importance of having a positive attitude and the ability to be
  • Taking care of your people's records

    Over the years I've seen more than a few folks who didn't make the next grade. This saddens me because I know a few of them to be very dedicated people. Some were the victims of their own success, some were a victim of their own inaction, while others just weren't taken care of by their raters. One thing we hear over and over again is "We don't