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NEWS | June 7, 2010

Making the right choices

By Master Sgt. Michael Cole 1st Airlift Squadron

Every day we make many decisions that will affect our lives, careers and those of others around us.

It might be something as simple as deciding where you are going to eat lunch that day or something more complex like deciding on a new car.

Whether it's the right or wrong decision, it can have a positive or negative impact on you and the ones you love.

During my Air Force career, I have had the privilege of learning from the decisions that others have made; some good, some bad.

The one thing that I have noticed is that people do what they see you do, not what you say to do.

This is what makes it even more important to always do the right thing, even when no one is looking ... that's what we call integrity.

Integrity is the heart of our Air Force core values.

I think back to when I was a small child, and my grandmother always reminded my brothers and I that "whatever is done in the dark will come to the light," and this is so true.

It seemed like she had eyes in the back of her head or a video camera in every room of the house. You might have gotten drunk and driven a car or used drugs on several occasions and have that feeling of "I will never get caught," but sooner or later your ticket is going to get punched.

You will get caught.

Only one percent of the U.S. population wears our Air Force uniform. Partly because it's an all volunteer force, but primarily because most have disqualified themselves from being able to enlist by making bad choices and decisions.

When we all raised our right hand and cited the oath of enlistment, we agreed to uphold the Air Force's core values of integrity, service before self and excellence.

To be successful in anything, we have to make good, well informed decisions both personally and professionally.

How many times have you made a decision and not thought about the consequences?

I have also learned that making the right decision isn't always the easiest one, but you must be able to lay your head down at night knowing that you did the right thing.

Sometimes this might not be the most popular or "cool" thing to do among family, friends or maybe even your supervisors.

A good friend of mine always reminds me that there are only two types of Airmen, outstanding or out-processed.

Which one are you going to be?