Working, playing error free

  • Published
  • By Col Mike Callan
  • 71st Flying Training Wing
Team Vance--please grab a Joint Specialized Undergraduate Training student and tell him/her to READ carefully!
In the last edition of the Airscoop, our security forces commander (Capt Rob Rossi) wrote an excellent article detailing the four recent alcohol-related incidents we've had (all in the Operations Group, all student pilots) and the ways to totally avoid them in the future--use a "wingman." Well, despite Rob's advice, our fifth alcoholic incident occurred again this past Friday night, and our students continue to use bad judgment when it comes to alcohol. This has to STOP!
With some help from our staff judge advocate (Maj Steve Dubriske), I will recap this fifth incident in the hope of teaching the entire Team Vance population (but especially our student pilots) that a "wingman" must make good decisions when you decide to "push it up" and consume alcohol. After a festive Friday night, our student pilot was riding with some "thought to be" friends when he decided he had had enough and wanted to go home. Rather than take him home, his "wingmen/alleged friends" dropped off our student pilot in front of a dentist's office on West Garriott Avenue in downtown Enid. With his feet dangling out in the street, he awaited a cab to take him home. Luckily a concerned and sober driver contacted the Enid Police Department after nearly hitting our student pilot on this busy road. The Enid PD then arrested our student pilot for public intoxication (it could have been much worse--like a fatal pedestrian/car accident??)
Public intoxication contains two elements--a) being in a state of intoxication and b) being in a public place. The level of intoxication does not have to exceed a certain blood alcohol level to be prosecuted, and the intoxicated individual does not have to be disruptive or violent to be convicted of the offense--ALL that is required is the person show impaired mental judgment and physical responses because of intoxication.
Back to our "wingmen/alleged friends"-- what the heck were they thinking dumping off our student pilot on the side of a road in his condition?? The answer to the test question is a true friend acts as a responsible wingman and takes our student pilot home. If you choose to consume alcohol, each one of you must have a guaranteed "wingman" who is NOT drinking and will guarantee you make it back to your home safely. If you don't have a wingman ready, willing and able to do this, you have no choice but NOT to drink alcohol--it's really that simple!
I want these alcoholic-incidents to stop! Our mission will never get accomplished if we continue to make poor decisions and put our Team Vance members' lives unnecessarily at risk. Please don't let what happened to our student pilot this past Friday night happen to you!