Commander praises Airmen for DUI reduction

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen Hawk Carlisle
  • 3rd Wing Public Affairs
Since January 2004, Elmendorf has had 119 DUIs. That's a lot. But the good news is that nearly half were in 2004 - 56 - and less than a quarter of them - 24 - were in 2006. Ladies and gentlemen, the trend is steadily declining and we've cut our DUIs by more than half in under 2 years. That's very good news.

No, that's great news. While it's true that one DUI is still too many, the reality is that on a base with a population near 11,000 - 24 is a low percentage! Keep in mind--zero DUIs is the goal and we are well on our way to hitting that milestone. I'd suggest most military communities or small cities can't match what we've accomplished.

What I'm really proud of with this reduction is how we accomplished it. It didn't happen overnight and it certainly didn't happen solely because the commanders, first sergeants and supervisors said "stop getting DUIs." It happened because each and every one of you, the incredible men and women of Elmendorf, took it upon yourselves to be good wingmen and do the right thing - help each other out, make sure there was a plan for safe nights out and make sure your fellow Airmen were taken care of. I need you to keep doing this and continue our fight against drunk driving.

I am awed with, and greatly appreciate, the tremendous attitudes and efforts made by the leaders and volunteers of our Airmen Against Drunk Driving program. Those young leaders have aggressively sought out units and individuals to volunteer a weekend night to make sure their comrades are safe while returning to their homes after a night out. In the past 2 years alone, AADD has provided Elmendorf members with more than 4,000 safe rides home.

That's more than 4,000 potential DUIs, accidents, injuries, or worse - deaths, that might have occurred if you were not there actively looking out for your fellow Airmen. And, let's be honest, our job is to protect and serve this great nation and all its citizens - not put them in jeopardy because of a bad decision made under the influence of alcohol.

Also, our squadron, flight and element leaders have been instrumental in this reduction. In particular, it's the first line supervisors who spend time with their Airmen, get to know them and work with them to ensure that whatever they do, their Airmen have a plan, a way to be safe and to get home safely after going out. You are the reason we are the greatest fighting force in the world!

In 2007, I challenge you to keep up the phenomenal work - the announcements are flowing in nearly every day citing you as the best PACAF has to offer in countless categories! Keep looking out for your wingman and let's keep that DUI number going in the right direction until we get it where it needs to be - "0".

You are the greatest people in the greatest wing in the greatest Air Force in the world. I am truly honored to be your commander and stand shoulder to shoulder with each of you in The Last Frontier.