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News > Commentary - Diamond Talk: What happens at Osan doesn’t stay at Osan
Diamond Talk: What happens at Osan doesn’t stay at Osan

Posted 11/2/2008   Updated 11/2/2008 Email story   Print story


Commentary by By Senior Master Sgt. Bobby Bankston
51st Security Forces Squadron first sergeant

11/2/2008 - OSAN AIR BASE, Repubic of Korea -- "What Happens in Vegas STAYS in Vegas!" 

Are there any words more magical than these?? We've all heard this saying. There is no city in the world like Las Vegas. It is known as "The Entertainment Capital of the World," and for good reasons. 

It is like an adult Disneyland. Gambling, good food, plentiful drinks and live entertainment are available 24 hours every day. The bottom line here? Go to Vegas. Lose a few bucks. Have fun. Do a few things you would never do at home, and maybe get away with it. 

"What happens TDY stays TDY." We've all heard that one, too. But no one bothers to tell you the other half of that slogan. To begin with, Osan is not a TDY location. If a military member comes to Osan alone, it is considered a remote or unaccompanied tour. However, a huge percentage of military population here treat their time at Osan as a one-year TDY. Or better yet ... a year-long party. 

It has been three months since I arrived at Osan, and I am continually amazed at the professionalism of our Airmen, NCOs and officers. However, I have also noticed an alarming increase in the numbers of disciplinary actions being processed since my last tour in Korea. 

Despite our safety briefings, numerous rules and regulations, and basic common sense, a significant number of individuals continue to engage in various forms of misconduct. All too often, people believe that rules and regulations are relaxed, especially when TDY. 

Those same people, though, generally find out, usually when facing discipline, that unprofessional behavior and misconduct will not be tolerated. 

In my job as a First Sergeant, I see a number of Airmen making the mistake of trying to drink underage or stay out past curfew, and NCOs drinking well beyond the point of intoxication. 

For what, I wonder? To have one more drink, spend a few more minutes downtown with friends or aspire to reach the ultimate "buzz?" 

Typically, what those individuals don't realize is that if they're caught, a chain reaction of things will occur that will have consequences for them for a couple of years. 

First they may be looking at a possible Article 15, which if received, you can bet would cause the next EPR to be a referral. If either of those events happen, they can kiss that dream overseas assignment they came to Korea to get, goodbye. 

That's right! If you think you're going to Hawaii or Germany, you are dead wrong. You'll be getting a stateside assignment that suits the greatest need of the Air Force. In addition to losing that assignment, you could possibly lose a stripe or two. And something else? 

That referral EPR does something else: it prevents you from getting promoted or reenlisting until you receive a non-referral EPR. So as you can see, one night of over indulgence can have a serious impact on your career, and it will stay with you wherever you go. 

"What Happens in Vegas STAYS in Vegas!" Maybe. And while that may or may not be true, I can assure you that what happens at Osan does not stay here. 

Osan is not a TDY, and it is not Las Vegas. What happens at Osan travels with you to your next base and for the of your career. 

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