Opportunities change with the weather

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Ted Weibel
  • 71st Flying Training Wing chief of Safety
We would never know it from last weekend's weather but spring has arrived. It seems to me that we recognize spring and fall as times of change, almost as if they are underrated months of the year and only serve as an adjective leading us into summer and winter.

Many people consider these two transitional seasons the best of the year. I can understand why. They bring moderate weather and more or less prepare us for the extreme changes following them. So what changes are headed our way? Opportunities perhaps?

Like most Air Force bases, we're about to undergo a season of leadership changes. It usually starts in late spring and runs through most of the summer. Is this a good or a bad thing? Or, is it what it is?

We'll be introduced to new people, ideas and learn how to do business in different ways. I consider these growth opportunities. It is very easy to do something the same way and requires the least amount of courage to maintain it that way.

Ironically, we somehow expect different results as time moves forward. If you want different results, you need to change the way you do business -- simple as that.

Even though the permanent change of station budget has been slashed over the last few years causing longer assignments, many of us will move. That brings new friends, jobs, opportunities and aspirations.

Even though I actually dislike the physical act of moving my home, I like to meet new neighbors and coworkers. It can be both exhilarating and frustrating for our families though, so do what you can to alleviate those stresses.

Similarly, we'll have many new Airmen, civilians and contracting partners change amongst our organizations here. Take time to show them how well we do business, but also learn what they know. It might be that they are an absolute expert in their career field and have sage inputs to make our organizations better. You never know unless you ask.

The most obvious change during spring will be the weather. Most of us have planned or will plan a vacation this summer. Additionally, most of us will dust off our lawn tools and toys and put them to use. That's right, it's time to think about cutting the lawn or getting back on that prized motorcycle. They're both dangerous for different reasons but I'll focus on the motorcycles for now.

Motorcycles will be out in droves before you know it. First, I ask that you look out for them. Recently we've had two mishaps in the Air Force where the motorcycle rider had done everything right but perished at the scene when another vehicle hit them because they were not seen.

Second, if you ride a motorcycle, take it easy the first few times you take it out. Make shorter trips, take less traveled routes, double check your protective equipment and ensure your motorcycle is always in perfect working condition.

Third, talk to your supervisor and commander. Yep, I said that. They need to know about your high-risk activities. Motorcycles are the most statistically analyzed activity out there for a reason.

Last, get involved. Vance AFB will soon be home to a new chapter of the Green Knights military motorcycle club. Whether you ride or not, this is an excellent organization. More details will be coming on how to join.

Be prepared both mentally and physically to survive your undertakings. Yes, survive. Think about what you're doing before you do it and always use risk management. It works. Apply it to your seasonal changes and you will be successful.