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Message from AF leaders: ‘Have a life away from work’

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- 1. Work 12-plus hours a day.
2. Keep your nose to the grindstone.
3. Don't make a mistake.
4. Focus on your job 24/7.
5. If you find some "free time," use it to work on that advanced college degree.
6. If you find some more "free time," get that PME done by correspondence, even if you were selected to attend.
7. Your Air Force career depends on this.

Disregard what you just read.

Leaders at the very highest Air Force levels have announced actions designed to set the record straight on the records - and expectations -- of Air Force officers.

For years, we (as an Air Force) have lived with the perception that in order to be successful and be promoted, we must complete an advanced educational degree, and always take a developmental education course by correspondence before actually attending the same course in residence.

Team, that train has left the station and fallen off the tracks.

Effective Dec. 1, advanced academic degrees will no longer be considered for officers meeting line of the Air Force promotion boards below the grade of colonel. Unless, and this is important -- your career field or job requires an advanced degree.

"My number one priority is taking care of people and these initiatives aim to do just that," said Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James last week in an Air Force press release.

I could not agree more. Both officer and enlisted programs are changing, and for the better.

With the opstempo we have been keeping around here at Team Patrick-Cape, I am asking commanders and supervisors to look for ways to lighten the work load - and expectations -- when time and opportunity come together.

I could not be more proud of our very hard working team but we all need some balance in our lives. So please, make time for your family, friends - and most of all, for you.

The Air Force Chief of Staff had this to say.

"We understand our Airmen are challenged every day to accomplish the mission with limited time, manpower and resources," said Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, the CSAF.

"By eliminating these perceived expectations, we hope to remind our officers that job performance is what we value most and that we want them to have a life away from work," said Gen. Welsh.

Yes we do.

And as we get ready to celebrate the four-day Labor Day weekend, we ask for that "life away from work" to be lived in a safe and sane manner.

You know the safety speech.

Please be a good wingman 24/7.

Someone's Air Force career - and life -- really might depend on it.

And that train will NEVER leave the station.

Stay Focused, Sharks!