Accomplishing the mission

  • Published
  • By Col. Ken Stefanek
  • 39th Air Base Wing vice commander
During a fatality brief last week the term "behavior incompatible with the mission" jumped out at me. I think we'd all agree that examples of behavior like drug use and criminal activity are clearly incompatible with the mission.

In reality though, there are many types of behavior that are much more subtle and yet are just as incompatible with the mission. Examples here include showing up for work while drunk or hung over or not following proper procedures while completing job-related tasks. The common thread with all of these behaviors is that they detract from our ability to accomplish the mission.

As Airmen, we are all vital links in the successful accomplishment of our mission. As such, we all need to operate at our full capacity when on the job. Excessive drinking can be incompatible with the mission because the immediate and lasting effects of alcohol prevent us from operating at our full capacity. To illustrate, I'm sure we'd all agree that we're operating at less than 100 percent both physically and mentally while under the influence of alcohol or when hung over. While I concede that simply being drunk or hung over while off duty does not always detract from the mission, being that way while trying to accomplish something work-related does detract from the mission and is irresponsible. As an aside, I'd be remiss to not point out that the service to our country in the profession of arms is a 24 hour-a-day calling.

The fact that we work at an installation with a guardianship mission increases the importance of everything we do. Beyond that, we all either directly or indirectly support operations vital to the defense of our nation. Because of these facts, more types of behaviors are incompatible with the mission than would be if we were civilians.
Showing up at work with diminished facilities is a perfect example (as is getting yourself killed while off duty). I ask you to remember this as you go about your daily activities and if you choose to drink, do so responsibly. Doing so will ensure that we're all able to secure freedom's future.