Do the Digits: 0-1-3

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey -- Loretta Lynn wrote a song a while back that captures the point behind this issue of the Tip of the Sword. For those who love country and western music 'Don't Come Home a Drinkin with Lovin' on Your Mind' is a classic oldie but goodie.

There is a lyric in the song that hits our point right on the head ... 'liquor and love just don't mix.'

More directly put, alcohol and sex don't mix. This issue of the Sword is direct and doesn't pull any punches. In fact, it may make some in our community uncomfortable. The advisory on the cover 'Warning: This edition of the Tip of the Sword contains material of a mature nature, parents may wish to discuss these topics with their children before letting them read it' serves as a caution. Our hope is this issue will begin a dialog across our community that serves to educate, inform and warn.

Let me cut right to the chase -- sexual assault is incompatible with our core values and mission. From a command perspective the effects of sexual assault are not only disastrous to those directly involved but also to unit integrity, and functionality.

Like the ripples caused by a rock dropped into water, the effects of sexual assault radiate out from the involved individuals to touch their families, friends and fellow workers.

Sexual assault is unacceptable and heartbreaking. We must dedicate ourselves to ensuring this violent crime does not take root in our midst. You expect no less from your leadership and your leadership expects the same from you!

At the core we must examine not only the effects of sexual assault but also the causes. In the vast majority of cases a principal cause is alcohol impairment -- the loss of rational judgment by one or more of the individuals involved. For the life of me I can not understand why the judgment of a sober wingman does not intercede at the first sign of a problem.

Faced with that question, I must assume that it is difficult to see or that the collective group just does not believe anything bad will happen.

Therefore, with the objective of education and prevention, I have asked that our late-night 'Eyes-On' team be fortified with two Airmen.

I have also asked our Airmen Leadership School to take their students out near the Alley gate from 11:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. to observe the migration of our late night revelers as they make it back on base. I am sure our students will be surprised by what they see in some of their peers and I have asked that they write about their observations which we will publish in the Tip of the Sword.

The antidote to curbing sexual assault is education. This issue of the Tip of the Sword is the first installment toward a concerted education campaign at Incirlik that goes beyond that provided by the Air Force Sexual Assault and Rape Campaign training which we all went through a couple of months ago. We will sustain this education campaign because the issue of sexual assault requires constant vigil.

The name of our campaign is 'Do the Digits' -- alcohol = diminished judgment -- 0 (driving under the influence), 1 (drink per hour), and 3 (drinks per evening) is merely a guide to help mitigate the math of the equation. Any way you do the math the digits add up to the same diminished judgment.

Try this analogy on for size; take a six shooter and load it one chamber at a time. After inserting each round spin the revolver and pull the trigger. Do the Digits, on the first spin you have a five in six chance of not firing a round; the second spin gives you a four in six chance of not firing a round; on the third spin, well do you feel lucky? Now point that six shooter at someone you love. Miss Lynn had it exactly right back in 1966; "Don't Come Home a Drinkin' with Lovin' on Your Mind" -- Do the Digits.