Luck vs. lucky

Col. Craig D. Wills is the commander of the 39th Air Base Wing at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. As commander, Colonel Wills is responsible for approximately 5,000 U.S. military, civilian and contractor personnel and the combat readiness of U.S. Air Force units at Incirlik and two geographically-separated units in Turkey.

Col. Craig D. Wills is the commander of the 39th Air Base Wing at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. As commander, Colonel Wills is responsible for approximately 5,000 U.S. military, civilian and contractor personnel and the combat readiness of U.S. Air Force units at Incirlik and two geographically-separated units in Turkey.

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey -- It's nearing the end of July, which means we're about halfway through the 139 Critical Days of Summer. I'm very proud of our Incirlik Team -- so far you've been doing a great job on the safety front!

Some might say I just jinxed us by saying that, but I believe success in the realm of safety is a result of good decision making that in turn makes us "lucky" people rather than a result of chance.

I think it's true for the most part that our successful summer can be attributed to the fact our Airmen are embracing a culture of safe practices and personal responsibility. However, something tells me there are some folks out there who are still taking unnecessary risks pushing the edge of the envelope just a bit too far.

To the majority of you who are assessing and mitigating risk both on and off duty, I commend you and ask that you continue to encourage everyone to do the same. You are doing what it takes to become a "lucky" person.

To the ones out there who have beat the odds so far, remember the fourth point of my safety philosophy - It can happen to you. Just because it hasn't, doesn't mean it won't. Don't keep relying on luck to keep you safe. The only kind of luck that really lasts is the kind we create for ourselves.

Remember as well that it's all about you - you're the only one who can take personal responsibility for your actions every day. It's also not about you - getting yourself hurt or killed because of bad decisions affects everyone else around you, puts a hole in the hearts of your families and loved ones that will never heal, and weakens our Air Force team.

Here at Incirlik, we're forward, we're ready and we're ready now. Airmen are our most powerful combat resource. Thank you for making smart decisions and taking great care of your families and wingmen. My challenge remains the same - do everything you can to become a lucky person, step up to the responsibility that comes with being combat ready, and step in when you see bad things developing. Thank you for your service to our nation and our Air Force!