I recently had the privilege and honor of presiding over the retirement ceremony for a very successful 26-year veteran.
When it was time for the new retiree to speak, he took us back over his distinguished career, including many temporary duty assignments and the sacrifices of missed time with his family.
He said we are all part of a volunteer force — the world’s best Air Force — none of us had been drafted or forced to serve. He also reminded us of how the Air Force has progressed over the years.
I discovered I was suddenly “re-blued.”
As I listened to his words, my mind raced to examples of how we’ve seemed to lose focus of certain principles over the years. I thought in particular about the level of trust we place in our people, be they Airmen, noncommissioned officers, senior NCOs or officers.
One of the many things that make our Air Force the best in the world is our ability to trust one another.
When we lose this ability, we dissolve the very glue that binds us together as a force. Destroying the trust we place in our Airmen unknowingly questions their integrity and ultimately stifles any notions of innovation or excellence.
We must listen to the creeds that are repeated each month. We should remember that our supervisors must be trusted and entrusted to do their jobs.
When we reach the point of questioning their decision-making capabilities, we’re sending a strong message. We don’t trust you or need
We all want to be trusted and given the opportunity to do our jobs. This includes learning from our mistakes if necessary. If we’re not given these chances, we’ll never attain higher levels of passion, trust and pride. Please trust your people. We’ll reach greater heights and achieve bigger goals if we do.