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Standards and Discipline

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- It's been nearly an entire year since I had the opportunity to speak to the base through this revered publication. Last time I spoke about a culture of responsible choices, and how my daughter almost got her finger bit off by a turtle. This round, I'd like to talk about standards and discipline.

Standards and discipline are what makes us different from the civilian population we protect. They expect it from us. Not to lecture you on these basics, but let's look at a couple of recent examples.

I had an NCO in my unit growing sideburns like it was the 1970s. Looks cool, but out of standards. Not sure how many folks saw it before I did, but it was corrected.

We have numerous occasions on base where folks fail to give proper customs and courtesies. For example, we should stand up when talking to others, especially superiors. This is a common courtesy our parents should have taught us.

When it comes to staff vehicles, I remind my folks to salute anything moving that looks like it has a bird on the front. That includes the pelicans. I remind them if it is moving and has stars on the front of it, and you haven't just been hit in the head, salute it.

Pay attention to your surroundings at all times -- that skill may even save your life someday. We do these things out of custom and courtesy, but it also teaches us a high level of standards and discipline. We need standards and discipline in the Air Force because of the importance of what we do. If you don't like it, sell cutlery door to door for a living.
 
Standards and discipline start with basics -- uniforms, haircuts, customs and courtesies. The next level is standards and discipline in your job. Regardless of your AFSC, you are a critical player in this wing's ability to provide space capabilities to the United States, and indeed the free world. Maintaining high standards and discipline is critical to our success. I ask each of you to keep the standards and discipline high
in our Air Force for decades to come.