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Chief Cooley: With completion of inspections, let’s now ‘shack’ our customs and courtesies

By CMSgt. Tim Cooley 2d Bomb Wing

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In 24 years in the Air Force, I've seen many changes.
I've closed bases and stood up new squadrons. I've seen the Air Force restructure, regionalize and "right size." I've seen fatigues go away; aircrew style name patches come and go on BDUs and name tags removed from our service dress, only to return again. With all these changes, and many more, one thing has remained constant...Air Force customs and courtesies.
Customs and courtesies are what make the Air Force and other military organizations different from our civilian counterparts. Our customs and courtesies are key components in maintaining discipline and accomplishing our mission.
If I had to identify one thing we need to improve within the wing, it would be our customs and courtesies. Everything we need to know about customs and courtesies we learned at basic training, OTS, ROTC or the Air Force Academy. There is not one person wearing a military uniform who has not been taught customs and courtesies time and again. Yet, for some reason, we have personnel who believe they have the right to choose when and where they will practice or enforce our customs and courtesies. If you wear the uniform it is your responsibility to adhere to our customs and courtesies at all times and to correct those who fail to follow the rules. The following areas require the most attention.
Wearing hats: This is simple...if you are outside you need to put your hat on unless you are in a "no hat" area. Contrary to popular belief the following areas are not "no hat" areas: base housing, gas station, the dorms, parking lots and off base.
Saluting staff cars: When you are walking around base you need to be cognizant of your surroundings. When you see a car with stars or an eagle on the front license plate you are required to salute it.
Being on time: I hear a lot of excuses for being late...couldn't find a parking space is the one I hear the most. If you think you can leave your office ten minutes before a commander's call at Hoban Hall and be on time you are mistaken. Everyone needs to plan accordingly to ensure they arrive on time for all meetings.
Cell Phones: If you don't have a government issued cell phone you cannot walk and talk on it. Personal hands-free devices cannot be worn while in uniform.
Colonel Charchian has said on numerous occasions that the wing "shacked" the nuclear surety inspection and unit compliance inspection - now let's "shack" customs and courtesies.