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March 1, 2013

From risk to resiliency

"I don't know what to do any more ... I'm in so much pain." Those were the tearful words I heard just after my office door closed. What followed was a story of seeing a friend die. Then, there was the sorrow, anger and other elements which accompany grief. The person in pain was an Airman assigned to a unit within the 497th Intelligence,

Feb. 15, 2013

Discover different cultures as a Special Observance Committee chairman

Whenever I teach a human relations course, students typically ask me a number of questions. One in particular always stands out - it addresses my ethnicity. I use this as an opportunity to educate the students on my Hispanic heritage, by having them use their perceptions to learn about different people's backgrounds.I also use the students'

Feb. 12, 2013

Shaking it up: Air Force special duties offer growth

The definition of insanity is doing something the same way over and over and expecting a different result. Like many, I joined the U.S. Air Force because I was doing the same thing day after day, without result.I was 24 and the money for school had dried up. Work wasn't going anywhere. I saw the same people in the same places, week in and week out.

Feb. 8, 2013

Under a foreign sky

More than a year had passed since I returned from my deployment to Africa, the memories and experiences still fresh in my mind. Africa - to me, will always be a transformational land. Not in the sense that the continent itself is in a constant state of change, but in the fact that I will always associate Africa as the place that changed me,

Jan. 29, 2013

The professional Airman: customs and courtesies when using information systems

Modern communication is quick and convenient and has dramatically altered the way the U.S. Air Force fights. The Air Force information systems provide each Airman with direct and immediate access to the world. Using proprietary systems, seconds-old intelligence is delivered directly to the forces that need it and aircraft receive coordinate updates

Jan. 22, 2013

The best job in the Air Force: a letter from the 633rd MDG commander

Happy New Year! As I look back at 2012 and look forward to what 2013 has in store, I am convinced I have the best job in the Air Force -- commanding USAF Hospital Langley! With this New Year laid out in front of us, I'd be remiss if I didn't take the opportunity to tell you about the one of the only hospitals in the Air Force that's growing in size

Jan. 14, 2013

We can always be better leaders

I was recently given a wake-up call during a conversation with another member of my organization: I needed to be out there, on the front line, leading all of the Airmen in my unit. We all tend to get wrapped up in our day-to-day jobs. We sometimes forget that as noncommissioned officers and officers, our first job is to lead people. Leadership via

Jan. 14, 2013

Spiritual fitness for the non-religious

As Airmen and members of the profession of arms, we've heard numerous times the three pillars of fitness: physical, mental and spiritual. I am not a practicing member of any organized religion, but I have the utmost respect for those who do live by religious beliefs. I think all of us in the Armed Forces need to have respect for the freedom of

Jan. 14, 2013

What "Zero Inbox" can do for you

- Your mailbox is full.That annoying message seems to appear whenever we have an important e-mail to send, or we are waiting for a vital communication.Most people are limited to 100MB maximum mailbox size. Trying to keep an inbox to a size where it is not plagued by constant warnings from the Exchange server can prove to be a daunting task. It

Dec. 17, 2012

Life's most persistent question

It was a hot, summer day like any other in the city of Montgomery, Ala. Children played in the streets, using tools from their parents' garages to unscrew fire hydrants, so they could feel a cool respite from the scorching August sun. Men grumbled under their breath as they pushed lawnmowers over stubborn patches of grass, wiping the sweat from

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