SecAf Letter to Airmen: Discipline and Responsibility

WASHINGTON -- This month starts in earnest the celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the founding of the United States Air Force. 

This is a source of great pride as we reflect on an astonishing history replete with courage, dedication, and a will to succeed; and coupled with a quest for technology to out-duel our toughest foe. But even as we bask in the achievements of our predecessors, we need to address the hidden secret of why the American people look to the Air Force as their Strategic Sword and Shield. 

It is the discipline and attention to detail that each and every one of us brings to our daily work. 

Whether it is conducting a pre-flight walkaround, completing the many intricate systems checks on a satellite, or conducting tests that ensure our strategic missile inventory is combat ready, the American people expect and get the discipline they seek from you, their Airmen. 

The American public expects that same discipline in a Predator squadron, a space control squadron, or in our long-range bomber community. Whether providing security, maintenance, logistics, or conducting any facet of the Air Force mission in the air, space, or cyberspace, we all must foster discipline and retain it for the future. 

I have written previously about gaining education as a foundation to success. The Secretary's Goal card indicates that the key is to foster "Knowledge Enabled Actions with an Accountable Airmen Ethic." 

Making sure that Airmen know and understand what is needed day-to-day is a major part of our success and requires self-discipline. Supervisory responsibility makes up the remainder of the success equation. 

Over the last sixty years we have matured into the world's most dominant air, space, and cyberspace force. Our success is the result of innovative Airmen who have pushed the limits of technology and found practical ways to use and apply it on behalf of this great Nation, its interests, and its ideals. 

But driving innovation does not mean abandoning discipline. We have the trust of the Nation to handle and operate some of the most complex and lethal equipment in the world. Maintaining that trust calls for us to be disciplined and accountable in all we do - from deploying in combat to executing our day-to-day missions.