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  • Calibrating your ‘moral compass’

    The analogy of a "moral compass" as representing a person's ability to reason ethically and act morally has been used to the point of triteness. Although the terms "ethics" and "morality" are not the same thing, for the sake of brevity I will use them interchangeably. My goal is to resurrect the moral compass theme by underpinning this worn-out
  • Adopting a stepchild

    Adoption is the process by which two individuals create a parent-child relationship recognized by law. A stepparent adoption is a legal process where the stepparent becomes the legal parent of the child. This relationship becomes permanent and cannot be reversed by a subsequent separation or divorce from the biological parent. Once the stepparent
  • Air Force core values: More than a poster on the wall

    Peer pressure is a powerful force, almost as powerful as command pressure. The need to fit in, combined with the weight of perfection, significantly contributed to the recent instances of cheating in the Air Force's missileer community. After considering recent accounts, I asked myself, "Why didn't someone speak up?" It is important to note that
  • Belly rub deployments

    I am in the military with three "dependents." The possibility of my absence from home is a situation that my wife and I have to plan for. Whether it is a deployment for several months, or a temporary duty assignment for a few weeks, a time will come when my wife will be solely responsible for the care of our other family members, Tucker and
  • “I got this!”: SOS student spouses take on Project X

    Military spouses are the unsung heroes for many of our men and women in uniform. They constantly face challenges inherently unique to those who live their lives supporting those who serve. With every deployment, the spouse is tasked with staying behind and holding down the fort. With every permanent change of station, the spouse must say goodbye to
  • Running with Joe

    It was March in Montgomery, and the temperature was 52 degrees, according to my car's thermometer. I was on my way to Gunter to get in my early morning run. Some people like to run when it is warmer, but 52 degrees is perfect for me.I have been running for about five years. After years of playing basketball or lifting weights, the pounding on my
  • Political activity and the military

    George Washington famously said, "When we assumed the soldier, we did not lay aside the citizen." This means that, by and large, members of the military do not lose their rights under the Constitution (unless there is a compelling government interest in restricting them.) However, one of the founding principles of the republic is the subservience
  • Think before you act: It only takes a second for actions to go viral

    Have you ever done something you wish you could take back? Said something mean ... wrote something inappropriate ... behaved in a way that was disrespectful? I'm sure you have or you wouldn't be human.However, in today's society, some of these behaviors never go away, even if you tried to delete them. They are documented in Facebook status updates,
  • Black history is American history

    Every year in February, we reflect on the contributions that black people (I intentionally avoid the usage of African-American, which I will explain later) have made on our society and our respective cultures. Often, we take this month to reflect on the contributions of black Americans from a purely ethnic standpoint: We place the emphasis on their
  • Soldiers, safety and sacrifice

    From our holes, we could see friendly aircraft "go dark" as they crossed the "fence" into Iraq. The air war had been raging for more than a month, and now, ordered into our attack positions, we knew our own fight was close at hand. For most of us, this was our first war. Combat was no longer an abstract; its sights, sounds and smells served to
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