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NEWS | Jan. 19, 2011

Committed to becoming better

By Airman Jared Trimarchi Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

The weekend is a time most people catch-up on their Zs, but for some who have no time to sleep, Saturdays and Sundays are two extra days to get some work done. Master Sgt. Joe Adams, Airmen Leadership School commandant, knows what weekend mornings look like. He is a busy man and has to work overtime; not as a teacher, but as a student.

He has been in the Air Force for more than 16 years and has two Community College of the Air Force degrees, but wants to further his education to become prepared for retirement. Sergeant Adams is taking part in a year-long program through Southern Illinois University which will allow him to receive his bachelor's degree in occupational education and workforce management by going to class on weekends from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Education is only one aspect of life he is committed to. He is also committed to the Air Force, a fit lifestyle, and his family, Sergeant Adams said.

Committing is one of the five actions in Comprehensive Airman Fitness and here in Joint Base Charleston it's not just for Airmen but for everyone.

Being in the military requires a service member to be committed, Sergeant Adams said.

"You have to be whole-hearted and committed to your daily job and the overall mission," Sergeant Adams said. "Like our core value, 'Excellence In All We Do,' we need to give everything we've got. But with commitment, comes sacrifice, and we need to strive to become better people."

Though he has always been committed to the Air Force core values, Sergeant Adams wasn't always committed to his physical conditioning, he said.

"I was never big on physical fitness until a deployment I had back in 2008," Sergeant Adams said. "I started a life changing commitment to become fit and since then I have dropped 28 pounds. It wasn't easy, but I committed to being more active and now I run 10 to 15 miles each week."

Anyone who has lost weight knows it's a great challenge, he said, but luckily he wasn't alone. He has a loving wife and two children who have helped support him.

"I have a very supportive family and our commitment to each other has been a great benefit in my life," Sergeant Adams said. "They inspire me. The whole family is incorporated in physical fitness and we do a lot of activities together."

As commandant of the ALS he sees the different Airmen and staff he works with pursue excellence every day, he said.

"There are four staff members at the ALS and all four of us are currently pursuing higher education," Sergeant Adams said. "One staff member already has her bachelor's degree and is working on her master's. The rest of us will graduate with a bachelor's degree by the end of this year. Education is something we all committed to in order to improve ourselves."

Maj. Patrick Pohle, Mental Health Flight commander, and Community Action Information Board executive director, said committing goes past the individual.

"Even though making a commitment usually deals with being 'all in' and 'not holding anything back,' committing has ties to integrity," Major Pohle said. "It also means, how invested are you in making things better? How invested are you in people around you and the community? Standing your ground when a wingman has had too much to drink and not giving him his keys is commitment."

It's important to be 'all in', no matter what challenges a person takes on, Sergeant Adams said.

"It takes a lot of commitment to be fit: physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually," Sergeant Adams said. "But it makes you a happier person."