Good order and discipline -- boiling down the facts

  • Published
  • By Col. Florence Valley
  • 45th Medical Group commander
All military people abide by good order and discipline, right? What I don't know is how disciplined we are with the smaller things in life that become big things if we let them. 

Managing money is one of those things. If you let small over expenditures accumulate, the resulting debt can wreak havoc with good order and discipline. When we continuously spend more than we earn, it can result in relationship problems and stress and lead to decisions that can have negative, long-term repercussions. There are many ways to be disciplined with your money, but all of them boil down to not spending more than you earn. 

Diet and exercise are other areas that require good order and discipline. The military promotes nutrition and exercise, which is a very good thing. But look around and you will see those who haven't been disciplined enough. Gaining weight and living a sedentary lifestyle are getting easier and easier, with much of our fast-food culture being less than healthy and our computer/TV forms of entertainment burning very few calories. A disciplined exercise routine can help not only with weight, but can reduce health problems and boost spirits. There are many ways to stay at or get to a healthy weight, but all of them boil down to not eating more calories than you burn. 

How about smoking? Is using tobacco part of a good order and disciplined lifestyle? Argue about lawfulness and people's rights, but tobacco, with its documented health hazards, doesn't really fit the good order and discipline model. Certainly quitting takes a lot of discipline - and it's never too late. Almost one in three of our young Airmen smoke - that's an epidemic. It all boils down to just don't start. 

Good order and discipline is not always easy or even second nature. The commercials make the solutions seem so hard that you feel like you need to spend lots of money to figure it all out. Don't be fooled, get free help early from base agencies and start boiling down the facts.