I was asked last week."Can you do an article for the paper? We don't have one this week."
I said, "Sure, it's about time anyway, I've got a pile of suggestions on what I should write about." It was like an open forum meeting. I heard shouts of: "Write something on leadership, teamwork or standards."
I took the last three days to sit and think on it.
Then, my Blackberry rang and it was the command post. The controller on the other end said, "Chief, I have some notifications to make, and I don't think they will make you very happy!"
The controller was informing me that we had three Airmen in jail, all for alcohol (DUI) incidents with other circumstances added on. First case an Airmen, then a noncommissioned officer and lastly a captain. I thanked the controller for working over the holiday and keeping an eye on all of us and hung up.
Team, that phone call scared me to death. Wow! We had three -- yes, THREE of our Airmen putting thousands -- yes, thousands of civilians and fellow Americans in harm's way.
Why did I choose to write about a moment in my life as a command chief?
Well, it goes like this: What could we as Team Hill, have done better for these folks? A wingman? A plan? Maybe a look in the eye before the holiday?
I don't know exactly, but what I do know is we got lucky, very lucky. All that happened was they went to jail (with an average bill of about $1,000 for bail).
You see, the story could have gone like this: "Chief, one of our Airmen was DUI and killed a family last night."
Imagine the rest!
So as I was being asked to write an article that those around me shouted:
"Do something on leadership" -- leaders make sure we spend the extra time checking on and briefing our Airmen.
"Do something on teamwork" -- strong teams don't let fellow team members go astray and fail.
"Do something on standards" -- standards they are ours 24/7, not something that only applies when in uniform.
Team Hill, you asked me to write about those things. I think I just did.
I will NEVER leave an Airman behind.
I will never falter.
I will never fail
Proud to be your chief.
Proud to be an Airman. Proud to be on your team!
Zero losses is the only statistic that is acceptable.