Sheppard's Exodus: Let our people go ... safely

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen. Richard Devereaux
  • 82nd Training Wing commander
Next week, from Dec. 21-22, marks "Exodus" for Team Sheppard trainees.

That's when our temporary population of almost 7,000 Airmen, student pilots and other TDY trainees leave our base to return home for the holidays.

This will be my first Sheppard Exodus experience, and from what I'm told, it is a truly amazing sight to behold as charter buses, POVs and airport shuttles descend on our base to execute AETC's biggest deployment.

In the Bible, Exodus is the story of the escape of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land. I'm sure many of our Airmen-in-training can relate to that story as they look forward to their escape from "the phase program" and the freedom they will experience in their promised land - home.

But any good student of the Bible will remember that the Exodus was not a straightforward trip "home" for Moses and his people. In fact, they had to make an important stop to pick up a little "guidance from above" called the Ten Commandments.

So before our Sheppard Airmen and trainees and even permanent party folks head out to the "promised land," I need you to reflect on the 10 Commandments for Sheppard's Exodus:

1. Thou Shalt Buckle Thy Seat Belts.
2. Thou Shalt Not Drive Tired.
3. Thou Shalt Not Speed or Drive To Fast For Conditions.
4. Thou Shalt Not Drink and Drive.
5. Thou Shalt Not Ride a Motorcycle (Unless meeting all USAF training and equipment requirements).
6. Thou Shalt Not Drink Alcohol If Under 21.
7. Thou Shalt Not Consume Any Illegal Substances.
8. Thou Shalt Not Engage In Any Hazardous Activities Unless Prebriefed By Thy Unit's Safety Rep.
9. Honor Thy Father and Mother - Don't Forget To Say Thanks To Those Who Brought You Into This World!
10. Thou Shalt Never Forget That You Are A Member Of The United States Air Force,
Always Upholding Our Core Values Of Integrity, Service, and Excellence.

If you follow these commandments, you'll all make it to the promised land ... and back! The greatest gift we could receive at Sheppard is the safe return of all of our valuable Airmen and civilians after a well-deserved holiday break.

As you prepare for your holiday, please know how much I appreciate all you do for our great Air Force. Elizabeth and I wish each and every one of you a joyous and relaxing holiday period.

Enjoy your "Exodus" and please follow the Ten Commandments every step of the way!