Events

August 3, 2012

Proud to be an American Airman

Air Force chief of staff reflects on time as service chief, career

by Master Sgt. Angelita Colon-Francia
Air Force Public Affairs Agency
Air Force photograph by James Varhegyi
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz responds to questions in the Pentagon on July 24, 2012, during a media availability to discuss Air Force accomplishments during his time as Chief of Staff.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz met with media July 24 in the Pentagon to share his thoughts about his nearly 40 years of military service in the Air Force and four years as the Air Force’s senior uniformed leader.

“When former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates spoke at my Chief of Staff welcoming ceremony in August of 2008, he quipped that he and I had something in common, that both of us were planning to retire,” Schwartz said. “Indeed when he asked me to continue to serve, those earlier retirement plans were put on hold. Today, however, I do plan to retire and am preparing to hang up my blue uniform for the final time.”

As the Air Force Chief of Staff, Schwartz has led approximately 680,000 active-duty, National Guard, Reserve and civilian forces serving in the United States and around the world. As a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he functions as a military advisor to the Secretary of Defense, National Security Council and the President.

Schwartz rose through the ranks as a special operations pilot who also succeeded in staff and joint assignments.

He took the job as chief “at a particularly turbulent time in our Air Force,” said Brig. Gen. Les A. Kodlick in his introduction of Schwartz to the media. However, Schwartz, together with Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley, has had “a profound impact on the Air Force.

“Quite frankly they have made the Air Force a better service and fighting force,” Kodlick said.

During his tenure, Schwartz introduced the phrase “All In” when he spoke to Airmen around the world about how the Air Force is a crucial part of the joint service team committed to winning today’s fight. In addition, he implemented a series of programs designed to improve the quality of life, care and services for Airmen and their families.

Despite the strides since 2008, Schwartz said he is leaving the position during another challenging period as the Air Force contends with fewer available resources, and an increasingly complex geopolitical and security environment.

Nonetheless, Schwartz said he remains confident the Air Force will continue to thrive because of America’s Airmen.

“(Airmen) are talented,” he said. “They are dedicated and they will handle today’s challenges and tomorrow’s contingencies in the manner that has earned America’s and the Joint team’s trust over the years.

“Our Airmen have reinvigorated the nuclear enterprise, institutionalized remotely piloted aircraft capabilities into our service, strengthened our support and our care for one another and for our families, clearly demonstrated our committed to the joint fight and established a program of record for the long-range strike family of systems.”

A retirement ceremony for the general will be held Aug. 10 at Joint Base Andrews.

He concluded comments about his 40-year career of service saying, “As Suzie and I now prepare to enjoy life after this career of service, we feel truly privileged to have found a home in the United States Air Force, the greatest Air Force in the world. I will always be proud – always be proud to consider myself an American Airman.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

New allotment rule protects troops from lending scams

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has directed a policy change in new paycheck allotments to prevent unscrupulous commercial lenders from taking advantage of troops and their families, Pentagon officials said Nov. 21. According to a Defense Department news release, effective Jan. 1, 2015, the change in DOD’s financial management regulation will prohibit service members from allotting...
 
 

Exchange gift cards personalize holiday care packages

According to a recent National Retail Federation survey, gift cards will be the most requested gift this year with 62 percent preferring a gift card over any other item. For Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines, their gift card of choice is the one that can be redeemed at military exchanges from Okinawa to Oklahoma. The...
 
 

AF closes FY14 force management programs

Airmen who met the service’s reduction in force board were notified of the board’s results Nov. 19, bringing the fiscal year 2014 force management programs to an end. The RIF board selected 354 captains and majors across the Air Force for non-retention, half of the number the service previously projected it would separate. Line of...
 

 

Protecting your identity online

With the internet ever evolving, it has become a great source of communication and a convenient tool. While there are many advantages in using the internet, like online shopping or making charitable donations, there are also countless numbers of unknown, lurking threats. One of luxuries of the internet, and a great service for busy parents,...
 
 

Eagle Eyes promotes community’s involvement in security

Security forces defend the base, but everyone can help ensure Edwards Air Force Base is safe and sound through the Air Force Office of Special Investigations Eagle Eyes program. Law enforcement officers rely on the eyes and ears of the entire community. If Airmen or citizens notice anything out of the norm or suspicious, either...
 
 

Scholarships for Military Children applications available Dec. 15

As the Scholarships for Military Children Program enters its 15th year, more than 8,000 students have shared nearly $13 million in scholarships. Applications for the 2015-2016 school-year awards become available starting Dec. 15 at commissaries worldwide or on the Internet at http://www.militaryscholar.org . As one of last year’s recipients said, the scholarship will help her...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>