Standards – with a dash of common sense
5/22/2012 - KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Now that the weather is getting nicer, we're all spending more time outside, and with the "101 Critical Days" right around the corner, I felt it might be time for a few "refreshers" from 8FWI 36-2901, affectionately known as the Community Standards. I like to approach this from a common sense perspective more than a lecture, so I'll just recap a few things near and dear to me:
Saluting: In uniform, salute ... pretty simple right? Staff cars, you know, the ones with the little eagles out front? Yep, salute those. Also, stop and salute during Reveille, To the Colors, and both the Korean and US National Anthems. PS: PTU stands for "Physical Training Uniform," keyword is "uniform," so salute in that as well. (Page 2 of the community standards has more details)
Bicycles: Safety gear. I think the bike riders here at Kunsan do a phenomenal job wearing what they're required to. That doesn't worry me. What worries me are those of us walking around shouldn't have to wear the same gear to protect ourselves from bikes. Here's some neat bike tricks:
- Rules of the road: Yes, the ROAD. After all, a bike is a vehicle. What do sidewalks and crosswalks have in common? The word "WALK". My building's 82 year old custodian has nearly been run over at least twice a week this spring, from folks cutting through on the sidewalk between buildings 568 (finance) and 514 (Multimedia/Bio). I know, it's a sweet short-cut, but if you pedal an extra 100 feet there is a road you can take, which will add about eight seconds to your trip to/from home. Keep the bikes on the road folks. If you're on a sidewalk, walk that bike! Also goes for the areas in front of the BX, commissary, theater, post office, and everywhere else you know you're not supposed to be riding.
- Handlebars ... they're handy! While your amazing balancing act is something to be envied, like the old saying goes, "it's all fun and games 'til someone does a face-plant." I saw a guy, just today, with two hands on his iPad and zero hands on the handlebars. He hit a bump and fumbled a bit, then grabbed the bars ... cool points, gone! I figured he'd learned his lesson, but saw him again not ten minutes later, still doing the "look mom, no hands" routine. On the flip-side, maybe he had the camera on and is looking to make it big on Tosh.0 or America's Dumbest... Could be a future there, if he survives it!
- Headphones: On a bike? Really? I don't care how good a rider you are, or your personal feelings about the headphone rules, if you can't hear the car and it hits you, it doesn't matter whose fault it was ... a car just hit you! That hurts!
Skateboards: While I'm on my soapbox, same thing goes for skateboards. I know, they're not as "in" as they used to be, but we still have a few pretty talented riders here at the Wolf Pack. Please don't work on your "ollie" directly outside the post office door. Nice landing, the flying board missed my ankle by a good three inches, and landed in the street.
Open Containers: Another community standard addresses open containers of alcohol around base. Putting it bluntly, we're not allowed to, so don't do it! That said, I appreciate the effort being put forth not to leave empty beer cans lying around everywhere, and maybe you're just picking up trash left by someone else. However, it never fails, by the end of the weekend the beds of every Bongo, Gator, and Mule parked around here are littered with empties and almost empties. Keep the drinking in the authorized locations and properly discard the trash.
Soju: Since I found an empty little green bottle of soju in the Gator bed the other day, and another a couple weeks ago at a smoke pit, allow me to take a moment to say, "No soju on base!" Any questions? Check out the Community Standards (page 2) ... 'Nuff said!
Kunsan is like no other base in the Air Force. The camaraderie, morale and overall Wolf Pack state of mind is what keeps this place humming. We work hard and we play hard. The community standards aren't there to take away all your fun. They're in place to keep us all safe, remind us of customs and courtesies, and to make sure we're not embarrassing ourselves, the United States Air Force, the Republic of Korea, and the United States of America. All it takes is some guidance and a dash of common sense. Let's be sure we Defend the Base (HUAH!) against poor judgment, and keep our best foot forward, so we're always ready to Fly, Fight, and Win!