Responsible choices critical as summer nears

  • Published
  • By Col. Scott Hanson
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing commander
As summer nears and the weather continues to warm up, there will be ample opportunities to get outside and enjoy the great Inland Northwest. It is critical that we make responsible decisions and stay safe as we take advantage of all the Spokane area has to offer.

Culture of Responsible Choices
I would like to take this opportunity to highlight the Air Force's Culture of Responsible Choices efforts. As Airmen, we are held to a higher standard of behavior than our civilian counterparts. We excel because of our commitment to Air Force core values: Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in all we do.

It is incumbent upon us to make decisions that reflect these high standards.

A Culture of Responsible Choices influences how Airmen think about a whole spectrum of issues, from alcohol and drug abuse to living a healthy lifestyle and engaging in safe practices at work, at home, and when recreating.

As we plan our spring and summer activities, we should all identify and mitigate risks associated with the activity, and not accept any unnecessary risk. It's imperative we use common sense when making decisions and always apply the Wingman Concept.

I encourage all of us look out for one another and be good Wingmen as opportunities for summer recreation present themselves in the coming weeks.

Spring recreation
There are terrific warm-weather recreation activities in this area, including camping, bicycling, jogging, boating and swimming. While these are great activities, make sure you are engaging in them safely. Ensure you are using an approved area and that you have taken all the appropriate safety precautions.

An important point I want to emphasize is that excessive alcohol and recreating do not mix. We all know from regular squadron briefings that drinking and driving is dangerous and illegal, but drinking and other forms of recreation, such as boating and swimming, can also be dangerous.

When we make poor choices, terms like line-of-duty determination and survivor benefits come into play. Save yourselves and your loved ones that heartache and don't put yourselves or them into that position.

Have fun this spring, but please make smart choices.

We have a wing safety day planned for May 24 to talk about some of these safety items - to include safety briefings, wingman training, and a simulator illustrating how alcohol impairs one's driving ability.

In the meantime, I encourage you to make responsible choices. I want to thank each of you for sustaining rapid global mobility at home and abroad. Play Hard and Play Smart - America needs you!

Team Fairchild - Making responsible choices!