The Darwinian way

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey -- We are on the right track to developing a culture of making responsible choices. For three weekends in a row we have managed to avoid any alcohol related incidents, in large part because of the combination of Wingman support and responsible choices.

Accordingly, we have dialed back our DIGITCON level to the lowest level: Alpha.

We have set the period of 15 May to 15 June for our June 17 Goal Day. Our objective is no alcohol related incidents during this time period; we will measure our success by unit and award those units that achieve the objective with the Goal Day and three-day weekend.

As we march toward Memorial Day weekend we need to reemphasize the Wingman and responsible choice culture and build upon our recent collective success in this area. At the end of the day, it is all about mission. Whether under the banner of the 101 Critical Days of Summer or winning a Goal Day the fact remains our mission can ill afford broken or bent Airmen.

Buckle up and fix bayonets ... it's a full-time calling that requires everyone's commitment, both on and off-duty!

Wingman Day
I believe our 'Boots and Utes' run to kick off last Friday's Wingman Day was very well done. I was proud to see everyone start together, maintain formation, and finish together which underscored the point behind the day ... developing a culture of mutual support and "teamness."

The day-long focus allowed for us to spend time outdoors with each other and work on building relationships that underpin the notion of wingman support.

The real deal is the effort and focus should not start and end with one day but rather it should underscore a sense of community and lifestyle that really is unique to Incirlik.

Our recognition of our volunteer corps was a perfect capstone to the day ... our volunteers are the strand of DNA that separates us from the rest. Without this DNA strand we are merely just another wing. I am absolutely awed by each and every person's contribution to our community ... you make it a great place to work and play. Thanks for all you do!

Culture of responsibility
Finally, this week's Tip of the Sword is focused on illuminating the culture of responsible choices. Another way to pitch this bumper sticker is "be smart, not stupid ... fatal stupidity knows no boundaries."

We encourage all of you to make smart choices in everything you do ... think first, then act accordingly. It all comes down to finding balance both at work and at play.

Balancing career, family and other interests is not easy.

Heck, I've been at it for sometime now and still need lots of help. There are a myriad of outlets available to turn to and they all begin with asking for a hand. The wingman and flight-lead concepts are the foundation for gaining balance and moderation in what we do.

The act of reaching out and asking for a helping hand is the first step in making responsible choices.

Two craniums are usually smarter than one ... be smart, think smart, act smart ... it is the Darwinian way for survival of the fittest.