Thursday, October 23, 2008

COMMENTARY>>No one comes close...keep it that way

By Maj. Christopher Ford
19th Security Forces Squadron commander

Once again, I cannot take credit for the theme of my editorial. Much like my previous article, the inspiration for this one comes from a chief master sergeant; as do so many great ideas throughout the Air Force. My first article was inspired by Chief Master Sgt. Brooke McLean. The theme of this article comes from retired Chief Master Sgt. Ken McTague.

After serving our nation for 30 years, 10 years as a chief master sergeant, Chief McTague concluded his career and his speech at his retirement ceremony with these inspirational words, “No one comes close…keep it that way.” While the motto for the Air Force has changed over the years from “Aim High,” to “No One Comes Close,” to “Above All” the basic principle has not changed, we are the world’s number one Air and Space Power and we cannot afford to let that status change. As Chief McTague passed the baton to the next generation of Air Force leaders, he challenged each one to ensure our status as the world’s premier Air Force never changes.

As the new chief of staff of the Air Force has reiterated since his first day in his current position, our Air Force team must get back to the basics. By returning to our core skills, refining our expertise and renewing our dedication to our core values of integrity, excellence and service, we can and will succeed in regaining the confidence of our citizens and our nation’s leaders. More importantly, we will succeed in meeting our nation’s goals of winning today’s fight against terrorism.

In the joint fight, air and space power are critical elements required for the successful execution of the combatant commander’s mission. Although some of us at The Rock feel far removed from the operations in the area of responsibility, each one of us plays a vital role in executing our wartime mission today and in the future. As I tell my Airmen, we may not be at the tip of the arrow every day, but an arrow cannot fly straight if the quivers are not properly aligned. Even from an in-garrison location, we have significant impacts on the warfighter and the execution of the joint fight.

So “Aim High” to exceed your own expectations! Ensure “No One Comes Close” by striving for continuous improvement of subordinates and peers alike. And help the United States Air Force remain “Above All” other air forces throughout the world so that every citizen may enjoy freedom and so that every soldier, sailor and marine who depends on our unique skills in Air and Space enjoys the freedom of movement necessary to win the fight and return home safely.


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