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March Madness

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- March is an amazing month. It comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, or alternatively, it comes in like an F-16 and goes out like Lt. Col. Allen Lamb, credited with the first successful elimination of foreign missile systems during the Vietnam War, after suppressing enemy air defenses. It is a month when spring (or a mustache) sprouts. The earth comes back to life and high pollen count prevents many of us from smelling it.

Two things I enjoy most during down time are barbeque and sports. March presents the perfect environment for both activities. It is also the month of arguably the best event in sports: the National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball tournament, otherwise known as “March Madness.”

This tournament brings us the joy of bracketology, an organized process of predicting the participants in and outcomes of the games in a sports tournament. Who will be out in the first round? Who will pull the big upset? What will the final four look like? Making informed decisions early on will ensure success later in the tournament. There will be plenty of material to listen to and read in order to make informed choices; this material can be thought of as a road map to success.

We can think of the 20th Fighter Wing the same way. As a team, our enduring priorities of mission, Airmen, and families and our values of toughness, character, courage, competence, and ownership comprise our road map to success. We may not get it right every time, but following our priorities and values will keep us on the road to the final four instead of elimination in the first round.