WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- As I prepare to retire, I once again find myself reflecting on what it means to serve. Foremost in my thoughts are those who have risked their lives to preserve freedom and democracy. Even as we are hosting barbecues this weekend, or just enjoying extra time with our families, brave men and women are demonstrating their commitment to the United States and our way of life as they engage in military operations far from home.
Building upon the success of the 2011 "Year of the Community College of the Air Force" (YoCCAF), AFMC will continue the initiative for 2012 and beginning this month will launch into the "Year of Continuing Education" (YoCE). Continuing education benefits all of us -- officer, enlisted and Air Force civilians -- at every point in our careers. Effective Airmen and Air Force civilians continue to learn throughout their careers.
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- As the holidays draw close and the year winds down, we have an opportunity to reflect on the past 12 months and think ahead about what's to come.
I would like to thank our team of more than 85,000 hard-working Airmen -- military and civilian. As a result of your talents and professionalism, we have seen many successes this year across all of our mission areas.
Duty, honor, country: these words are just as significant today as they were in the past. As Air Force Materiel Command continues to equip warfighters, these words have strengthened our resolve and prepared us for the future.
All the great wars fought at home and abroad transformed this country, making it strong and dedicated to the cause of freedom. Many of the veterans of these conflicts paid the highest price, and it is on Veterans Day that we pause and say, "I remember."
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- The absolute lifeblood of the modern military is energy. It allows us to be expeditionary and go anywhere on the globe. For true energy assurance as an Air Force, we need to be able to find energy solutions and strategies anywhere, even in hostile nations. At the most basic level, that assurance starts with reducing demand, diversifying supply and changing the culture.
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Ten years ago we experienced a tragic attack on our nation -- an attack that changed our lives and changed our national security focus.Though we suffered great loss, the devastation on Sept. 11 failed to achieve its intended goals. Rather than causing us to shrink, we grew stronger; instead of breaking us apart, we became more unified and determined. In the face of terrorism, we refused to fall prey to our enemies' fear-inducing tactics. We stood together then and we stand together now.
My leadership philosophy is based on three principles:
No. 1 -- Safely and professionally execute the mission
No. 2 -- Protect, conserve and consume resources under your control as if they were your own
No. 3 -- Positively motivate yourself and others toward continued service in the Air Force
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- We all enjoy a great many freedoms. Over the July 4th weekend, many of us will get together for a cookout or to watch fireworks with friends and family as we celebrate our nation's 235th birthday. While we certainly look forward to those activities, we should also use the holiday as an opportunity to reflect on exactly why it is we're able to celebrate.
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- The exact origins of Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, are not known. It was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868, by Gen. John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, that a day should be observed nationwide as a ritual of remembrance and reconciliation. That first observation took place May 30 of the same year.
On Jan. 1, 2011, Air Force Materiel Command will begin our "Year of the Community College of the Air Force" campaign. John Buchan, a 20th century writer and politician, once said, "The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it, for the greatness is there already." Therefore, I challenge each of you to reap the benefits of formal education during the new year.