Commentary

January 11, 2013

From the desk of the Chief of Staff:

Happy New Year Airmen!

by General Mark A. Welsh III
Chief of Staff

To those of you who spent the holidays deployed, thank you and I’m sorry you weren’t home with your families. I know you understand what you are doing is important, but I also know that doesn’t make the separation any easier. In these days where self-serving agendas seem to be on display everywhere we turn, your willingness to sacrifice for the good of our Nation and its citizens still inspires me.

Despite the budgetary uncertainty, the fiscal cliff, or whatever else time and circumstances throw at us, I believe 2013 will be a great year for our Air Force! We will still do great work for the Nation; we will still come to work with the greatest men and women on Earth; and we will still take care of each other. In addition, I know each of you will continue to look for new, innovative ways to make us an even better fighting force. It is a great time to be an Airman!

One of the greatest things about our Air Force is the remarkable heritage we share. As 2012 closed, one of our greatest living heroes “flew west” and became a treasured memory. Retired Colonel Ralph Parr, a Double Ace and combat veteran of three wars, passed away peacefully on Dec. 7, at age 88. During the Korean War, in one remarkable 11 day/30 mission stretch, he scored ten confirmed kills and received the Distinguished Service Cross for actions during a particularly harrowing dogfight with 10 enemy MiGs. In Vietnam, he earned the Air Force Cross for extraordinary valor during the Battle of Khe Sanh. In all, he flew 641 combat missions and is the only American aviator to receive both the Distinguished Service Cross and the Air Force Cross. He also wore the Silver Star, 10 Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Bronze Star and 41 Air Medals. We should all stand a little prouder because we follow in his footsteps.

I think we all share the responsibility to protect the legacy that Colonel Parr and so many others built. However, the demographics of our Air Force have changed. Images, songs, stories, or “traditions” that are obscene, vulgar, or that denigrate some percentage of Airmen, are not the things we value in that proud heritage. I’m a bit surprised by comments I’ve heard about the recent health and welfare inspection, suggesting it was an attack on fighter pilot culture, a ‘witch hunt’ to target specific organizations or individuals, or a response to a specific event. None of those comments are true.

My intent was two-fold. First, if we are going to get serious about preventing sexual assault, we need to get serious about eliminating environments conducive to sexual harassment or unprofessional relationships. Both are leading indicators of sexual assault and other behavior and performance issues. Second, the Air Force succeeds because of the professionalism and discipline of our Airmen. We have a significant number of Airmen who feel they have to “go along to get along,” by ignoring pornographic images, workplace comments, or other material that makes them uncomfortable. That is simply not the Air Force we want to be. EVERY Airman is critically important and every one of you deserves to be treated with respect. Anything less reflects a lack of discipline and a failure to honor our values. It also marginalizes great Airmen, degrades mission effectiveness and hurts unit morale. We simply can’t and won’t, tolerate it. Of course, that is easy for me to say…only you can make it reality. As always, I need your help.

In a couple of weeks, I will send you a CSAF Vector for 2013. In it, I will let you know where I think we are headed in some key areas and lay out a few things I think I owe you over the next year. Things like what the AF values for promotion (hint—the list starts with Job Performance!); my thoughts on performance reports and any required adjustments; and so on.

Thank you again for all you do and for choosing to serve in our great Air Force. Do not let the talk of sequestration distract you from the importance of what you do every day. We will still need to come to work in 2013 and we will continue to provide America with one of its greatest asymmetric advantages. It is an honor to serve beside you.

GOT AIRPOWER…?!




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


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo/Megan Crusher

‘The Spirit of Ronald Reagan’ gets nose art

U.S. Air Force photo/Megan Crusher Col. Russell Muncy, commander, 452nd Air Mobility Wing, March Air Reserve Base, California, and U.S. Congressman Ken Calvert, California’s 42nd district, unveil C-17 original nose art, creat...
 
 
AFN courtesy photo

Hollywood’s Oscar shout outs for U.S. military

AFN courtesy photo From left, Eric Gabriel, Army Maj. Rosy Poulos, Patrice “Rock” Grant, Air Force Staff Sgt. Rob Harden and Fabian Montgomery, American Forces Network employees, work the red carpet at the Oscars to provide...
 
 

452 AMW QUARTERLY AWARD WINNERS

2nd Lt. Jim Lambert, 452nd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron Company Grade Officer of the Quarter Senior Airman Anahi Ledezma, 452nd Communications Squadron Airman of the Quarter Staff Sgt. Paul Bugar, 729th Airlift Squadron NCO of the Quarter Master Sgt. John R. Hershey Jr., 752nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron SNCO of the Quarter
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo / Megan Crusher

March Field FES hosts Riverside County Chief’s Association meeting

U.S. Air Force photo / Megan Crusher Eliot M. Cooper (center), assistant fire chief and C. Christianson (left), assistant chief of training, give Patrick Reitz, fire chief, Idyllwild Fire Protection District, a tour of the Marc...
 
 
163rd Security Forces Squadron courtesy photo

March Airmen respond to helicopter crash

163rd Security Forces Squadron courtesy photo A UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter rests on its side at Ramona Airport, Ramona, California, Jan. 20, 2015, after crashing. Seven Airmen from the 163rd Reconnaissance Wing’s Security For...
 
 
Figure-2

Dietary supplements: How safe are they really?

Walk into a health food store today and you can be overwhelmed by shelves piled with dietary supplements. What’s going on? For the past ten years the popularity of dietary supplements has increased steadily. Supplements are a...
 




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>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin