WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio — Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody held an All-Call at the Air Force Institute of Technology here earlier this month, and spoke about the importance of the work being accomplished by the people in the room and across Air Force Materiel Command.
During the All-Call, Welsh highlighted the change of command at AFMC, and he and Cody encouraged Airmen to think about how their work fits into the larger Air Force picture.
“Think about the things that have happened around the world,” Welsh said. “Think about the fleets of airplanes that we’re flying because of the people here. Think about the changes we are trying to make in the acquisitions process, the changes we are trying to make in innovation, the changes in the way we train people to think and be agile in a future world. All of that is nested right here in this command and it is absolutely phenomenal what you all are doing.”
Cody spoke about some challenges the Air Force is now faced with — namely the shrinking size of the force and how we continually have to “figure out how to do more with less.”
But despite the challenges that the Air Force faces, there are things that will remain the same, said Welsh.
“The first one is you — you will continue to get better and better like you always have,” said Welsh. “The second thing that’s not going to change is pride in the Air Force. This pride is really important to us and it has to stay important as we move forward. The history of this Air Force is remarkable. It’s a success story. If we can keep this pride, then we’ll be fine.”
During the event, Welsh discussed what the force needs to do to be successful. He began by explaining the importance of exercising common sense.
“We have to use common sense as the first standard we apply,” he said. “When we find rules, policy, guidance, tech orders that don’t match up with our common sense, we have to change — you have to help us with this.”
Another way we can be successful is to improve our communication processes, Welsh said.
He expressed a concern regarding how information is communicated and how incorrect information can spread easily and quickly through blogs and other social media — and subsequently through a poorly informed public.
“We have to educate and train our Airmen on how to communicate properly, and how to get facts,” he said.
Lastly, Welsh spoke about how an increased compassion for our fellow Airmen will also lead to our overall success as a service.
“We have to care more,” he said. “We have a problem with harassment; we have a problem with assault; we have a problem with disrespect in the workplace; and we have a problem with people not understanding that inclusion is a strength of our Air Force. Until we eliminate all of those things, we will not be as good of an Air Force as we could be.”
A few months ago, leadership was considering the addition of a fourth core value — one that emphasized respect, Welsh explained. However, it was determined that elements of respect were already incorporated in each of the three core values, thus it will not be added as a separate value.
Welsh and Cody both commended Airmen for all of their hard work.
“Thank you for who you are. Thanks for what you do. Thanks for making everything else this Air Force does possible,” said Welsh.