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Where we go now is most important

(U.S. Air National Guard photo illustration)

(U.S. Air National Guard photo illustration)

PHOENIX -- Don't look now Copperheads, 2016 is almost over.  As you already know, this is our 70th year serving the greater Phoenix community, the great state of Arizona, and the United States of America.  Personally, I am extremely grateful for and humbled by the opportunity to serve alongside you every day!  

According to a June 2016 Gallup poll, the American public has the more confidence in the United States military than in any other institution in our society. In my opinion, this is due to the selfless nature of military service, our willingness to go into harm's way for our countrymen, and the high standards of professionalism and conduct that Americans have come to expect from those in uniform. That is why we must continue to uphold the highest standards of integrity, service and excellence.  We do not just represent ourselves.  We represent a distinguished lineage of heroes.  Indeed, we owe it to our forefathers to perform honorably and to leave the military better than we found it. 

You already understand the weight of this responsibility and that is why we are an outstanding unit!  We are recognized by the highest Air Force levels on mission accomplishment with not one, but two Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards covering four out of the last five years.  In sports terminology, we are a dynasty.  Let's not get complacent!  It would be a disservice to ourselves, the Department of Defense, National Guard, and the great state of Arizona if we fail to dedicate ourselves to continuous improvement.  We must always seek ways to become safer, smarter, faster and cheaper.  We must also create a positive working environment woven together by strong, consistent leadership at every level throughout the organization.  Success should empower all of us to be better!

An organization that is satisfied with the status quo is a lazy organization.  Let's not be status quo.  Together, let's drive towards betterment.  We need your critical thoughts and ideas now more than ever.  Critical thought drives actionable, positive change throughout the organization, our profession and our individual military careers. 

Our successes over the last five years are a testimony to your dedication and service. We are at the top of our game.  Dynasties find a way to stay great and to be excellent.  Each and every one of you is part of our dynasty.  We all have to find new ways to be excellent and stay great. 

So I ask you, where do we go from here?

Forward...Together.