Making smart 'Saber Choices'

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, GERMANY -- Recently, the 52nd Fighter Wing commander described the clear reasons for "Saber Choices" the 52nd FW's commitment to the USAF's Culture of Responsible Choices campaign. 

Irresponsible drinking has led to suicides, sexual assaults, domestic violence and nearly half of the fatal motor vehicle accidents the Air Force experiences each year.
An entire issue of the Eifel Times was dedicated to delineating poor choices that Team Eifel members have made, while providing guidelines to make responsible choices in the future. This campaign clearly states, from senior leaders, commanders and supervisors of all ranks, that drug use and alcohol abuse will not be tolerated within the U.S. Air Force. 

Alcohol misuse and illegal drug use are incompatible with AF core values and the misuse of either represents a clear and present danger to Air Force missions, morale and discipline. 

As Col. Darryl Roberson stated, Airmen who choose to make irresponsible choices fail both fellow Sabers and the mission. Frequently, Airmen who choose poorly, force other Airmen into picking up their responsibilities, their tasks and more and more frequently, their air and expeditionary force deployments, as they go through the legal process. A staff sergeant who loses his stripes may no longer be qualified to fill that requirement downrange, supervise that shift, or accomplish that task, which soon becomes someone else's new responsibility. 

Although 'Saber Choices' focuses primarily on reducing alcohol and drug incidents, there are many other choices that we as Airmen face. CORe choices are applicable to a wide range of other human behaviors that impair mission readiness, such as tobacco use, fitness deficiencies (diet and exercise), and failure to follow safety and injury prevention guidelines. Although a strong Project Wingman culture of taking care of each other is imperative to assist in keeping us on track, it comes down to a personal decision to do what is right to ensure that you are at the highest level of performance on a daily basis. 

As 52nd FW chief of safety, I have directed my staff to re-invigorate their efforts to help keep Saber Airmen, their co-workers, and their families safe. Through our new safety campaign, the 52nd Fighter Wing's 52 Weeks of Safety, we will be providing tools through commercials, articles, commander's calls, and other forums, to help keep you safe, both on-and-off-duty. We also need everyone's help identifying other risks and hazards that exist, so that we can keep you and others safe. Please provide these inputs through your unit safety representative, your chain-of-command, or to us directly at 452-6543. We are also working hand-in-hand with the 52nd Medical Group to ensure that everyone is fully aware of programs to enhance your personal well-being and your family's welfare. 

Fellow Sabers, this is a year of immense challenges. We have numerous operational and contingency deployments while simultaneously experiencing reductions in the active force. Together, by 'working hard and playing smart,' we can make responsible choices while reducing mishaps. Together we can maintain the high combat capabilities required for daily operations and throughout this Global War on Terrorism.
Saber Choices ... 52 Weeks of Safety