ARI Pillar I: Mission Focus

  • Published
  • By Col. Stephen Lambert
  • 86th Airlift Wing vice commander
General Hyde recently outlined the 86th Airlift Wing's new focus on combating alcohol related incidents in a column printed Jan. 13 on these same pages.

Under the slogan "No ARIs, No Excuses ... Drink Responsibly," our campaign plan is based on three main pillars: 1. Mission focus, 2. Taking care of each other, and 3. Personal accountability.

Today, I want to zero in on our first pillar, Mission Focus. Our nation depends on our commitment to uphold and defend the Constitution, a document that represents one of the grandest experiments of modern times. It guarantees freedoms and rights that are the envy of many people around the world. As America's military, our ultimate mission is the defense of our constitutional republic.

The U.S. military is, hands down, the most trusted institution in America ��-> more trusted than any company, church or political party.

The reason is that our fellow citizens understand and value our commitment to our mission and they appreciate the fact we live by a special set of standards (our core values) in order to preserve the strength of that commitment.

As a wing, our mission is focused on providing combat airlift to two combatant commanders and operating USAFE's premier installation, thus enabling and assuring key capabilities and services.

Each of our units contributes to this effort. ARIs directly impede this hard work and commitment to mission success because they create additional workloads, such as investigations and disciplinary proceedings, which distract us from our mission-focus.

Furthermore, ARIs often result in harmful and costly consequences ��-> sometimes including the death of our Airmen.

We must take an active role with our Airmen when discussing ARIs and mission impact and should not shy away from pointing out the negative impact of alcohol abuse on mission accomplishment.

This is especially true as we face budgetary pressures as a military and a nation. We can ill afford the time, talent and productivity that are lost due to ARIs and their inevitable long chain of consequences.

Perhaps one way to attack the problem is to consider the following questions in a more personal way: Who depends on me? What is my role in defending America's freedoms? Does my alcohol use make me less dependable or impact my unit's mission?

Take the time to contemplate your answers. An honest assessment of a situation involving alcohol will always help you make the right decisions ��-> and our mission focus will make all of us better Airmen.

Our actions should continually support the mission, not distract or deter from it.
Our nation depends on our commitment to uphold and defend the Constitution, which starts at the individual level. Our nation and fellow patriots depend on that dedication.

As General Hyde has said, "ARIs are not inevitable. We can eliminate or significantly reduce them through mission focus, taking care of each other and personal accountability."

No excuses...drink responsibly!