Luke Air Force Base Airmen heard Brig. Gen. Michael Rothstein, 56th Fighter Wing commander, highlight his beliefs and expectations during commander’s calls Sept. 28.
“I believe in our core values,” Rothstein said. “I think we got those exactly right — integrity, service and excellence. We are Airmen 24/7. You don’t leave your core values behind when you leave work. We have all answered the call. We cannot forget that.”
As far as expectations, Rothstein spoke about three areas in which he expected Thunderbolt Airmen to be outstanding: mission, leadership and community.
“I believe that we have a moral obligation to be good at our job, to get the mission done,” he said. “We are America’s Airmen, and if we don’t do our job, people die, or our national security suffers. That is not an easy task, but the mission must come first, and we must get it done. We have got to be great at it.”
Rothstein then discussed his passion for leadership.
“We have to build leaders each and every day while we get the job done,” he said. “I believe that we are all leaders, and we should all present that.”
In addition, he spoke about trust being a leader’s most valuable asset.
“As a leader you are always trying to build trust,” he said. “You have to be able to establish trust, grow trust and sustain trust. If people don’t trust you, you can’t lead them. You can manage them, you may give someone an order, but not lead. We get one chance as leaders to get it right. We better get it right.”
The commander believes leaders must work to develop themselves.
“I commit myself in four areas: mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually,” he said. “Those work for me, but I think it is important to figure out what works for you. I believe it’s important as leaders that we keep making ourselves better.”
The last of Rothstein’s expectations supporting the Air Force core values is regarding Thunderbolts serving the community inside and outside the base’s fence.
“I believe in the importance of community,” he said. “We’ve got to come together as an Air Force community and make our families feel a part of it. We’ve got to make our Airmen and families feel important but, it has to be a two-way street. It’s not just about how people in uniform can go out and do things for our families, but how can our families also be part of serving the community.”
Luke has an important role to play within the West Valley community, Rothstein said.
“We cannot function without the support of our community.”
Chief Master Sgt. David Staton, 56th FW command chief, who has been at Luke for two months spoke about areas he will focus on in his new position which mirrors the commander’s expectations.
“I’m very passionate about leadership, taking care of our Airmen and taking care of our family,” Staton said. “If we don’t do that right, we can’t do the first thing right — our mission.”
Staton also expressed how essential it is to listen to Airmen and his intent to start enlisted calls.
“We need to find out what our Airmen’s hopes and dreams are, and we need to help them get there,” he said. “If you are a supervisor and don’t have the passion to do that, you need to find it, because that’s our job. If your Airman wants to go to school, it may be hard, but get creative and help him.”
Before closing, Rothstein emphasized the Air Force policy of zero tolerance for sexual assault.
“I expect you to treat everyone with dignity and respect,” he said. “Don’t be a jerk and don’t allow others around you to be jerks. The sexual assault business going on in the Air Force has got to stop. That is not how you treat fellow Airmen. That is not being a good wingman. We’ve got to look out for each other, and treat each other well. It is about respect for our teammates and for our people.”
Rothstein then commended Luke Airmen for doing a great job completing the mission and conveyed his expectation to continue to do so.
“Thank you for what you do,” he said. “Thank you for stepping up to serve. It is no small thing what you do for our country. I think Luke has a great reputation, and I’m excited to join your team. I’m proud to join your team. We have a great legacy. We have got to be worthy of that legacy, each and every one of us.”