I still remember the day myself and other cadets at Detachment 640, Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, received our assignments during the spring of 2004.
I remember the excitement as our colonel read our Air Force Specialty Codes off one by one. I remember the trembling anticipation prior to hearing “Cadet McGuire, congratulations, you have been selected as a 21R logistics readiness officer (LRO) and will report to a logistics readiness squadron in the fall.”
As I started thinking about this new future, I could only remember the basics from our “Career Day.” I simply knew the LRO was formed in 2002 and already playing an integral role in the Global War on Terrorism. At the time, that was all I needed to know, but nearing graduation, I began thinking deeper, “What will that really mean , what will it mean to be in a Logistics Readiness Squadron?” To be honest, now, I’m 17 years in and still learning every day. My team, the 56th LRS, can attest to that.
Currently, we are in the season to celebrate logistics. The third Friday in May is federally observed as National Defense Transportation Day to recognize how transportation/logistics serves the needs of the United States in times of peace and in national defense. Meanwhile, June 28 is annually recognized as National Logistics Day, which celebrates the important role logistics plays in the sustainability and connection of our world.
I’d like to share a few thoughts on what being an LRS member has taught me. By doing so, I hope to positively impact your perspective and appreciation as you see logistics and the phenomenal Airmen associated with it.
My first thought is describing how logistics connects the mission.
From sustaining vehicles, fuel, and aircraft parts, to deploying cargo and combat-ready Airmen, logistics directly connects the mission sets of any installation. The stronger the connection, the stronger our Airmen are and the mission they serve. You could have the newest, baddest vehicle in the fleet, but without logistics Airmen who maintain it, that connection to the mission is ultimately lost. We could have the purest jet fuel in the business, but without the logistics Airmen who deliver it, that connection to the mission fades rapidly. And aircraft parts, could you imagine if no one kept accountability or devised a plan for storage and distribution? Luke AFB’s mission would grind to a halt. Therefore, when you see logistics, I hope you see the vital importance of the parts and commodities we support. More importantly, I hope you see the connection to the mission and the logistics Airmen supporting your team.
Next, I’d like to share the strength and opportunity found within the diversity of logistics Airmen and logistics processes.
Logistics is truly diverse, and stronger because of it. In and of itself, logistics is complementary to the great diversity of our world’s geography, climate, and culture. Fundamentally, logistics must offer a diversity of opportunities within modes and services to successfully enable a complex and interconnected globe. The logistics readiness squadrons within our Air Force are a very powerful example of this strength of diversity in both processes and people. The Air Force operates within multiple domains; so does the logistician. Time and again, your logisticians will enter those complex problem sets no one else wants to face, then support, adapt, and find a way. Within LRS’s diversity of skillsets, one can find something even greater: a cultural and ethnic diversity of logistics Airmen centered together on a common goal. Which, for my Air Force education, is quite simply the most powerful thing in the world. Wherever you have a diversity of Airmen with diverse skillsets, you find strength and endless possibility. Therefore, when you see logistics, I hope you see a diversity of essential skillsets. More importantly, I hope you see the strength and possibility found inside logistics Airmen and the diversity they represent.
Lastly, and perhaps the most important connection to be made, logistics requires ownership, so does life.
Luke AFB’s team of logisticians shares a squadron mindset of “Own the moment, in logistics and in life.” Sometimes in logistics and life, we face moments that absolutely terrify us and/or wear us down. However, if what we believe in – where we find our “why” – truly means something, then we will own it. Logistics is a series of moments that connect together to empower Airmen to support the mission. Most of the time those moments are owned (connect well) and lead to mission success, but not always, and life is much the same. The series of moments we share in life will (with certainty) lead somewhere; we might as well own that direction as an installation and community the best we are able. Therefore, when you see logistics, I hope you see Airmen who own their moments and connect a successful mission. More importantly, I hope you see the similarities for life and own/connect great moments together for our families, country, and community as we serve at Luke AFB.
Thank you for allowing me to share some thoughts on the importance of the Logistics Readiness Squadron and the amazing Airmen found within. In summary, while I trust you value the wide range of services we sustain, I hope you see and appreciate the strength and diversity of our Airmen. Our team stands alongside you in our strengths of connection, diversity, and ownership to produce the world’s greatest fighter pilots and combat-ready Airmen.