Commentary

November 21, 2012

CSAF Letter to Airmen November 2012

To the Airmen of the United States Air Force

November is a proud month! Betty and I stood at the Tomb of the Unknown on Veterans Day as President Obama laid a wreath honoring not just our fallen, but all our nation’s veterans, for everything they (and you) have done to defend American citizens and interests for the past 236 years.

During the week before that ceremony, the spirit of the citizen-Airman was on display in grand scale as your Air Force carried hope and comfort to thousands of citizens affected by Hurricane Sandy. C-5s and C-17s carried utility trucks, cherry-pickers and thousands of blankets from places like California and Arizona to New York and New Jersey.

Air Force civil engineers, personnel recovery specialists, medical professionals, firefighters and many others from active duty, the Air National Guard and Air Reserve bases converged on the affected area to rescue more than 250 storm victims. Working beside many other great organizations, the Air Force family answered our nation’s call during a time of need. Seeing President Obama holding a picture of an Air Mobility Command C-5 downloading a utility truck and thanking Defense Secretary Panetta is great stuff! We’re all part of something bigger … I hope you’re as proud of who you are and what you do, as I am of you.

It’s been a humbling experience to serve as your chief these first three months. But I’ve been surprised by some of the issues that have required the most attention.

First and foremost, dealing with the intolerable number of sexual assaults and unprofessional relationships has been both time-consuming and heart-breaking. The Air Force succeeds because of the professionalism and discipline of our Airmen. Sexual assault undermines that professionalism and discipline, harming not only the individuals involved, but also their unit, their mission and our service. When a fellow Airmen is sexually assaulted, it is devastating. It destroys trust. It demoralizes families. And we’re doing it to ourselves. We MUST do more to protect one another from this crime by reporting unprofessional relationships, strengthening our support of victims, and making a culture of trust and respect a reality for everyone in our Air Force. I need your help … please take care of each other.

Betty and I hit the road later today to visit some of the 36,000 Airmen who do the nation’s nuclear deterrent mission each and every day. We can’t wait to meet ‘em! F.E. Warren, Malmstrom and Minot are just the beginning—we’ll get to all of you as soon as we can. I just wish we could visit every base every week … although you might think that’s not such a great idea!

These first three months have been a whirlwind. Thank you for the overwhelming expressions of support you’ve given to me and Betty. Everywhere we travel, you welcome us as one of your own. This is just an incredible Air Force family! During this month of Thanksgiving, I want to thank you and your family for your service, your sacrifice, and your incredible dedication to the profession of arms. I’m incredibly proud to be an American Airman, not because of the cool toys, but because I have the honor of standing next to you.

AIRPOWER … GETCHYA SOME!

 

 




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


 
 

 

Challenge yourself: Never give up, never quit

I once read that newly created cells in our bodies do one of two things: they either begin to decay or they become more vital. These cells choose their path based on what we demand of them. If we are sedentary, our brains signal our cells to decay; but if we exercise, our cells get...
 
 

Gaining Altitude — Growth Opportunities for the Week

Through our character – an opportunity to reflect on important issues in our community Have you ever tried to change your character?  It’s easier to change a behavior, like drinking less soda, than to change a character trait, like using sarcasm to respond to others. Why is it so difficult? One author puts it this...
 
 

Never underestimate your impact

Every day I visit our great Airmen and every day I come across more than one that underestimates their impact to the mission. There’s the one-stripe maintainer, “just repaneling an aircraft,” for the next day’s flight, or the young personalist, “just issuing another identification card,” or the defender, “just guarding the gate.” The list could...
 

 

‘We’re all in this together’ — A senior NCO’s five constants

Service in the Air Force today means different things for different people. Depending on your unique circumstances, such as family dynamics, job or upbringing, how you navigate through those dynamics can have a significant impact on your time serving and significantly help you prepare for the day you no longer will wear the uniform, whether...
 
 

Gaining Altitude — Growth Opportunities for the Week

Through our character – an opportunity to reflect on important issues in our community Facebook and Twitter allow us to communicate whatever we want, whenever we want.  We tend to respond to any issue that frustrates us and tugs at our emotional heart strings. One thing that our posts and blogs typically lack is civility....
 
 

Separated but not alone

As the dawn broke out over the mountains, I woke up to the sun peeping through my window. Once I got up I went straight to the kitchen to make my family breakfast yet in the back of my mind, all I could think about was, “how am I going to manage taking care of...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>