ORM, Core Values provide map to success

  • Published
  • By Col. Richard Klumpp, Jr.
  • 71st Flying Training Wing
The bad news was apparent to everyone returning to work after the long Thanksgiving holiday. It was hard to miss the single digit displayed on the marquee to reflect the number of days since our last alcohol related incident. That the number had to be lowered twice to reflect the two incidents occurring over the weekend was even worse news.

Both incidents -- driving under the influence and an alcohol-fueled verbal altercation -- could, and should, have been prevented. On wingman day, we devoted the entire day to creating awareness of how the holiday season can take its toll on the welfare of Team Vance and the role of the wingman in helping to eliminate that toll.

The key word in that last statement is helping. Your wingman can help look out for your well being, but Airmen taking care of Airmen isn't the entire solution to avoiding problems, whether over the holiday or any other time.

It's fine to have others looking out for you, but at the end of the day, you are the one held responsible for your actions. It's important to have a plan to get home safely whenever you head out on the town. But the best plan in the world is useless if you don't execute it. Changing your plan on the fly, especially when your judgment is already impaired, is a recipe for disaster. Remember, a wingman doesn't remove the onus of personal responsibility from you.

When traveling, we can't always count on someone to provide directions if we become lost. That's when it's time to rely on a map. When venturing out this holiday season, you may not always have a wingman to help with the directions you take, but you also have a map for that situation. We call that map our Core Values - Integrity First, Service before Self and Excellence in All We Do.

Integrity First is the best map to follow when engaging in off-duty holiday activities. A noted celebrity once said, "real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody's going to know whether you did it or not." When the wrong thing is done, we often all know it, and that's not a form of celebrity you want.

We got the holiday season off to a rough start with two incidents the first long weekend. But we were approaching 200 days without an incident because of the responsible choices you have been making. Let these incidents be a wake-up call that you can't let your guard down. Stick with 0-0-1-3 and you will keep yourself out of trouble. I'm confident the holiday season will end with no more incidents because I have faith Team Vance members will put Integrity First, be responsible for their own actions and be good wingmen.