Responsible Airmen: Dorm ban on alcohol lifted

by Brig. Gen. Patrick X. Mordente
86th Airlift Wing commander

As many of our Airmen at Ramstein were told Wednesday at several town halls, after careful deliberation, I decided to rescind the general order banning alcohol in the dormitories effective immediately.

About 18 months ago, the order was put in place prohibiting the possession and consumption of alcohol while in the dorms.

There were several reasons for implementing the order, and the decision was not made lightly by my predecessor.

My decision to rescind the order wasn’t made lightly or in haste either, and I believe it is the right decision to make. It is and will always remain a commander’s responsibility to provide a safe, secure and respectful environment for Airmen to live in. That is my obligation, and I take it seriously.

Many factors played a role in my making this decision, but input from your commanders, first sergeants, agency chiefs and leaders at all levels expressing their trust in you helped guide the wing command chief and I to this point.

Additionally, while going through the data and discussing the results with base leaders, we couldn’t isolate a direct correlation between the order banning possession of alcohol in the dorms and the number of alcohol-related incidents.

Armed with this data, we decided to put our faith in our professional Airmen here regarding this issue. We place faith and trust in you, just as we do with all other matters of airmanship.

The bottom line is you are all adults and professional Airmen, and we are going to treat you this way. Each of you will have to own the situation of having alcohol in your living areas and own the responsibility to step up and be the Airmen I need you to be and the nation expects of you.

The consequences of drinking and driving, causing an alcohol related incident or misusing alcohol in any way still apply, but take this responsibility seriously and handle it with care and concern.

Being a professional Airman doesn’t end when you end your duty day or take off your uniform. It’s a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week, 365-days-a-year commitment. It is up to you as Airmen to own your actions and choices, step up as good wingmen and hold each other accountable to Air Force standards. Make sure you step in and help each other make smart decisions as professional Airmen so you can continue to enjoy this freedom safely.

I have faith and confidence that our Airmen in the dorms will take this decision as an opportunity and seize it appropriately.

It was an entire Team Ramstein command decision because of the faith and confidence we all have in you. Don’t let us down, don’t let your unit leadership team down and don’t let yourself down.

I know you will all continue to be the amazing Airmen we rely on to accomplish our mission and defend our nation.