Work hard, play hard

  • Published
  • By Maj. Matthew Johnson
  • 36th Rescue Flight Commander
First and foremost, the military is paying you to accomplish a function, whether it be guard, process, heal, teach, manage, fix, fly or whatever your specialty is. While on duty, you should perform your tasks in a manner that you would be proud to have your commander and/or supervisor observe you. If you reflect this dedication, then I am proud to serve with you; if otherwise, why are you here? Having laid the standard for duty performance, I will focus on making the most of your off-duty time.

For the last four years, my wife was attending a university in a different state and we primarily were able to see each other on the weekends. There were some deployments and a PCS in that time as well; however that is the norm for much of the USAF. During our time apart it highlighted to me the importance of making the most of our time together. I would work hard throughout the week to make sure I got my tasks accomplished and could relax on the weekend knowing that I did not have to worry about work during my time I had to spend with my wife.

The same concept can apply to those still pursuing a spouse or happily single. Make every effort to leave the stresses of work at the office. As long as you put in a full week's effort, you should feel confident in your ability to unwind and do those hobbies or activities that help you recharge without worrying about the performance report that is coming up next week.

Every Airman is authorized 30 days of leave a year. Make the most of it. The demands placed on today's Airmen require each individual to maintain a high level of both mental and physical health. Taking leave is essential in balancing the demanding requirements of the mission with a healthy lifestyle. I encourage everyone to take advantage of the leave program and enjoy the many outdoor activities the Northwest has to offer. I also recommend everyone to implement personal operational risk management in their everyday lives but especially while on leave in order to return refreshed and healthy.

The use of leave is essential to morale and motivation and for maintaining maximum mission effectiveness. Lengthy absences (7-14 days) from the demanding operations tempo tend to have a beneficial effect on an individual's physical and psychological condition, whereas short absences of only a few days do not tend to provide the same relief. Leave should be about you and/or your family doing those activities that let you recover from the hard work you normally perform.

In closing, do your job the best you know how so that you can enjoy your off-duty time to the fullest.