The Misadventures of Airman Snuffy McDufflebag and Master Sgt. Johnny Mentor

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey -- I was at the hospital finishing up some last minute out processing for an up coming TDY when I ran into my good friend, Master Sgt. Jonny Mentor. He had this look on his face like his dogs, Tango and Cash, got ran over by somebody speeding through housing. Slow it down people, my kids play out there! 

Anyway, I asked him what was wrong and he said if he told me I wouldn't believe him. I told him that I had just listened to the commander on his weekly radio show, Thursdays from noon to 1 p.m., and he told a story of six Airmen in underpants, sprinklers and other random buffoonery, so nothing he could say would shock me. 

He looked at me exasperated and said "my habitual line stepper," is at it again. He said he had just dropped off Airman Snuffy McDufflebag for his first Alcohol and Drug Treatment Program meeting. "O.K.," I said, "What happened?" 

Sergeant Mentor said that Monday morning Airman McDufflebag got a short-notice deployment to Camp Victory, Iraq, he was told he had to report to the base within 10 days. Needless to say, Sergeant Mentor went right to work to ensure Snuffy had everything he needed to go down range. 

Since many people have deployed or are preparing to deploy and serve the Air Force around the globe as part of air and space expeditionary forces, Sergeant Mentor had always kept his Airmen's deployment folders and training records up to date. He said 

We all know it's possible to deploy to remote locations on short notice, and you have to be ready if you get called today. As Airmen, we are required to be prepared to go, anytime, anywhere. 

He said preparation is the key to having a successful deployment. Ensuring you and your family are ready for deployments, completing necessary online training, making sure annual physical and dental appointments identify any conditions you may have so you are in the best possible shape before you deploy. He said combat arms training on an M-9 pistol or an M-16 rifle is essential when Airmen deploy to locations where they will need to know how to safely operate a weapon. He mentioned mobility bags are a must for Airmen who deploy because austere locations do not come with a base exchange or a Wal-Mart to replenish supplies. 

He said "I always found that if I was prepared from the outset, deployments were much easier, and I could help my commanders and subordinates achieve mission success when everyone was focused 100 percent on the job at hand." 

Sergeant Mentor said Airman Dufflebag seemed pretty enthusiastic about deploying and he thought that this experience would be good for Snuffy. 

Wrong! On Wednesday, Snuffy went to a going away party for a friend, Benedict A. Wingman, if you didn't know he's the guy who raced Snuffy back to the barbecue and was no where to be found when the drama went down. He even dropped a dime to the legal office that Snuffy had been drinking before the race. I don't know why Snuffy hangs out with this guy! 

Anyway, Sergeant Mentor said Snuffy and Benedict, decided to go to Cheers after his going away party at the Red Onion had ended. Snuffy and Wingman began to talk about all of the fun times they had during their time at Incirlik. In one hour Snuffy had one Zima, two Apple Pucker shots, five Banana Cognacs and one melon ball. 

Sergeant Mentor said if an 180-pound person like Snuffy drinks as little as 2.75 ounces of alcohol -- three 12-ounce beers, three glasses of wine or two mixed drinks -- in one hour he will he will register a .05 blood-alcohol content. The person's BAC will escalate to .10 percent if he or she continues to drink as little as 5.5 ounces of alcohol -- five beers, five glasses of wine or four mixed drinks. 

He mentioned that most mixed drinks contain more than one ounce of alcohol. The effect of alcohol varies from person to person. This can be due to their individual tolerances, amount of food in their stomach and any type of medication in their system.
When it was time to return to base, Benedict had already left Cheers with a young lady and Snuffy was left to fend for himself to get back to his dorm room. 

Snuffy staggered back on base and managed to get back to his dorm building, in his intoxicated state, he thought that might be fun to take the drain pipe up to his second floor room rather than the stairs. In his mind he felt like he was being a super hero, "Duffleman," he thought as he climbed "I'm the greatest super hero since Chuck Norris." He decided since he could make it to the second floor that he could go all the way to the roof. 

Well, because of his weight, the pipe began to break away from the building and down it came "Duffleman" and all. 

Snuffy broke his wrist and ankle during the fall was charged with an Article 134 and was entered into the ADAPT program. Also, since Airman McDufflebag was injured, Sergeant Mentor had to try and get the unit deployment manager to short fall the position for the deployment, but the AEF center and United States Air Forces in Europe said one of Sergeant Mentor's people had to fill it. 

Sergeant Mentor said his shop was already going to be shorthanded with Snuffy gone, but now he was going to have to send another Airman downrange and have one who is injured and limited in what he can do in the office. 

Snuffy's negligence effected his life and his unit's mission readiness. Sergeant Mentor said "Our actions have a profound effect on others whether we realize it or not. It's the same for our jobs we do every day. Sometimes we don't realize that everything we do has an impact on someone else." 

He added "For example, every piece of paper that flows through the Military Personnel Flight represents a person. Our actions affect that person. How would you feel if paperwork critical to your career was done halfway, lost or forgotten. Do mechanics see all of the people who fly in the planes they work on? Not always, but lives depend on their work." 

I learned that no matter what your job is, your day-to-day actions are critical to the success of our mission. Unfortunately, you just get the feeling Airman McDufflebag will probably be at it again, because as you know he is a "habitual line stepper."