By Col. Jacob Hammons, 152nd Airlift Wing
/ Published October 02, 2020
Welcome to Fiscal Year 2021 – the year of violent execution for the 152nd Airlift Wing. This year, we will prioritize readiness, resilience and innovation as we move out on our Wing Strategic Plan. We start the year at a high OPTEMPO, with MAFFS winding down, COVID response ongoing, and final preparations for our two major inspections -- AFMAA in November and UEI CAPSTONE in December.
While the Wing is busier than ever focusing on Readiness, I want to ensure our focus is not diverted by societal issues that could negatively impact our force. With that in mind, I would like to highlight two potential pitfalls, 1) election season and 2) domestic violence.
1) Election Season and Political Activities. This is a presidential election year and tensions are high due to the damaging effects of COVID-19 and ongoing social unrest across the nation. While we are all entitled to our opinions as citizens, there are specific prohibitions against military members participating in political activities, especially while in uniform. A military branch is also not allowed to give the impression of supporting one political candidate over another. While there are many details and nuances involved with this matter, I will simply give you my technique regarding political matters. I don’t go there. I won’t post anything on social media regarding political matters, I won’t engage in “water cooler talk” about the debates or merits of one candidate over another, and I won’t give the impression that my political affiliation lies with any specific party. In fact, success for me would be that I leave this job without any of you knowing my political affiliation. I feel duty-bound to be apolitical, because as a military member I am subordinate to my duly elected officials, and one of the cornerstones of our democracy is an armed forces that is apolitical in nature and only focuses on supporting and defending the Constitution, against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Arguing over politics, whether on social media or in the workplace, diverts focus from our priorities and is counterproductive to building connectedness and resilience. As I said, there are many facets to this issue, so if you are in doubt, consult with your supervisor or JAG over what is appropriate in our out of uniform.
2) October – Domestic Violence Awareness Month. COVID-19 stressors have also increased the risk of domestic violence across our force. It can be frustrating to disheartening to lose a job, be in lock-down, or have schools cancelled. We need to stand united in speaking out against domestic violence in all forms. Domestic violence affects millions, both women and men, of every race, religion, culture and status. Quite simply, domestic violence does not comport with the values of the High Rollers. We treat other as we would like to be treated, we treat each other like family and we hold our families dear and sacred and should never abuse our families, physically, verbally or otherwise. This is about being good Wingmen – watching out for each other, and if there are concerns or indications of domestic violence, speak up and get your Wingman the help he/she deserves. We have services across the base, from the SARC, DPH, and Chaplains that are trained and have resources to assist. This is one way we build resilient Airmen, and it’s the right thing to do.
I start Fiscal Year 2021 full of hope and inspiration for what we can accomplish when we unite around a shared vision for this Wing. Together, we will achieve the goal of becoming the #1 ANG C-130 Wing. This year can be our proudest moment, and the work we do this year can leave a legacy for generations of High Rollers. Let’s shock the world.
Livin’ High, Flyin’ Low,