ARIs--What is it going to take?

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Michael Voss
  • 435th Air Base Wing public affairs
As another weekend approaches here at Ramstein, one thing is a sure bet--there will be yet another alcohol-related incident.

A bold statement some may say, but maybe not. Looking at the numbers on alcohol related incidents since the beginning of the year, the stats don't lie.

It's not like we don't have any other choice, but we all know how it starts; everyone talks about going out, but makes no solid plans until it is time to go.

"The best parties are always the ones thrown together at the last minute, right?"

Then as we start to head out to the club, we'd rather drive ourselves because if we get a ride with someone and they want to leave early or stay out later, we're stuck. So we take off in our car, no harm intended, but as the night goes on, we start drinking a little here and there; keeping in mind we can't leave our car at the bar.

"How would we get it back home the next day?"

As the night wears on, we slow down but continue to drink. When the bar closes, we know we shouldn't, but we do it anyway. We grab our keys and head home, sometimes taking other, even more drunk friends with us.

With as many as 13 arrests made in one weekend this past month, the odds are that if you were not affected by this you know someone who is, and that is leaving commanders asking, "What is it going to take to get through to people?"

"Let there be no doubt that this behavior is unacceptable," said Col. Doug Tucker, 435th Air Base Wing, commander.

Here at Ramstein, servicemembers are continually reminded to have a plan, and even in some cases a backup plan, before leaving to go out for the night.

"As a guest in and as U.S. representatives to the German communities, we owe it to them to be responsible. As members of the U.S. military we owe to our leadership and the nation's citizens to be vigilant, to be ready," said Colonel Tucker.

Members are constantly reminded by supervisors, commanders and senior leaders of the cost that follows at the end of a night just like this, and still there are those who drive under the influence.
There are signs everywhere, Culture of Responsible Choices, Airmen Against Drunk Driving, even 435th Mission Support Squadron personnel are required to have key-chains with AADD and the 1st Sergeants phone numbers on them at all times.

I would remind you of the numbers of those agencies to keep nights like this from ending in the loss of a career or worse, but you don't want me to bore you with that. After all I am just another person in a long list reminding you what's at stake.

So like many other leaders I am at a lost, so you tell me; what exactly is it going to take?