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  • Leadership: Not just for ‘leaders’

    There I was, about to lead the 555th Fighter Squadron into combat in Operation Enduring Freedom, wondering how history would judge our performance and hoping that all of the training over the course of a year would pay off. As it turned out, no amount of training could have completely prepared us for the reality and complexity of the mission before
  • My $240 border crossing

    "I meant to take the last exit," I told my parents as I approached the Slovenian toll booth. You know the feeling you get when you realize you made a mistake or did something wrong? Yeah, that feeling began to twist my stomach in knots as a policeman motioned me to pull over. "Where is your vignette?" he asked as I rolled my window down. "Well," I
  • Humble service: Going the second mile

    In one way or another we have all chosen a life of service to others. As an active-duty member, civilian, spouse or family member, we serve alongside one another across various units, joined with a common purpose of mission success at Aviano Air Base. What a great reward this life of service can be. We interact with one another frequently in
  • For success, attitude is where you start

    There is no question that if you are successful in the important endeavors of your life, you will be happier. Whether it be a career, a life nurturing and raising a family or anything else you choose to do, it is more satisfying to be successful. In the military, success equals lives saved and missions completed. But success is an end result. Where
  • On that day ...

    It was a hot Tuesday afternoon. I was leaving Building 402 after updating my base vehicle sticker.As I walked toward the double-glass doors leading to the parking lot, I encountered a small group of people standing just inside the door -- two Airmen, a civilian employee and one captain. As I reached for the door, the captain said, "You don't want
  • Why we say 'Integrity First'

    I'm a lawyer. Far more than that, I have the honor of serving in the world's greatest Air Force. The legal profession can be the subject of jokes and good-natured ribbing but, I can tell you with absolutely no hesitation that my line of work has taught me a tremendous amount about the value of integrity and what it means to military service.I
  • Maintaining internal balance key to performance

    I have heard the phrase, "Take care of yourself." For many years, I viewed it as an overused cliché. Throughout my career, I have realized no matter the assignment, there is one constant: the demand the Air Force places on me, and that I place on myself, to do my best every day. I have also realized that the key to maintaining my best, is taking
  • Now, that is mentoring

    About ten years ago, after enlightening me with, no doubt, another gem of wisdom that went over my head, the colonel said to me, "now, that's mentoring!" Years later, I'm beginning to understand what mentoring really is and that we can easily miss it, even when it's right in front of us. We often seek mentoring from the wrong sources, we don't
  • Classified message incidents affect everyone

    A classified message incident is when classified material or information is sent through e-mail over an unsecured work center computer such as the one I am using to write this article. A CMI is a foundational break down in our ability to protect classified information and results in a loss of man-hours, money and time. We as a team must focus on
  • Personal readiness: What does it mean to you?

    Great wine, great food, amazing travel opportunities and friendly people. All are key aspects of being assigned to the 31st Fighter Wing. But is that why our country maintains this base in northern Italy?In 1999, the 31st Fighter Wing executed combat operations from Aviano Air Base, Italy, in support of Operation Allied Force. The base population
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