By Master Sgt. Birch Rypka, 31st Test and Evaluation Squadron
/ Published April 06, 2015
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
I have a confession to make. Please don't judge me. I love Airman Leadership School. I love sitting on the First Sergeants Panel, I love going to the mixer. I love the volleyball game (especially when we win!) and I love the graduations.
Fortunately, I have a support group of other Shirts that help me sort through this issue!
Last week's ALS graduation was no exception. I particularly enjoyed the speech by [Chief Master Sgt. Richards], the keynote speaker. She gave a laundry list of good advice to our newly minted leaders but one point in particular stuck with me. She was talking about preparation and the time she got to spend serving alongside some AF Pararescuemen. When she asked them why they carried so much gear, they said "two is one and one is none". I took that to mean: with their understanding of the fog of war, those men knew that they had to have backup equipment in case something went wrong or got off course.
I would like to expand this idea into the planning arena. I don't know if you noticed, but the DUI sign, which proudly touted "0 DUIs on Edwards AFB!" now displays the number "1." This fact proves that the lesson isn't learned, we are still driving drunk. In response we regularly preach "have a plan" but what if we apply the "two is one and one is none" principle?
What if plan A, "Use Designated Driver," falls through? Do we have a plan B? The Edwards Air Force Base First Sergeants would like to propose you have at least three plans. You could not drink if you have to travel by car (1), you could use a designated driver (2), you could call Airmen Against Drunk Driving (3), or you could use our new Arrive Alive cards (4).
Arrive Alive cards are cards that you can get from your first sergeant. They are pretty on the front and they have a place for your name, squadron and phone numbers of AADD and a local taxi cab company on the back. If you find yourself downtown and short on cash you can call the cab and they will pick you up accepting only the card as payment.
The cab company will then submit the card to the First Sergeant Council and you can work out payment for the ride with your shirt.
These cards are not meant to replace AADD and they are not meant to be an endorsement of any specific taxi company by the shirts or the Air Force. They are meant to be another option in the toolbox. If they help save one life then they will be worth it.
In the end, drunk driving is not just something that first sergeants want to pester folks about. Thirty people die a day from DUIs. That's about one every 51 minutes, and since no single plan has proven foolproof in DUI prevention, lets have several. Because, when it comes to DUI prevention, planning lets us remember two is one and one is none.