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Joint Base Andrews
Joint Base Andrews
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Joint Base Andrews Commentaries
Why are you here?
October 30, 2009
— Well it's that time of year again. The leaves are changing color, the weather is becoming cooler and change is in the air. President John F. Kennedy once said, "The one unchangeable certainty is that nothing is certain or unchangeable." This statement is most certainly true for our military. Over the past year, we have seen many changes... As I...
Passion In Everything We Do
October 16, 2009
— "I ... do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the constitution of the United States ..."These are more than just words to those of us in the profession of arms. Our oath commits us to a noble journey; a journey towards a more perfect union, to provide for our common defense, and to secure the blessings of liberty for our nation and our...
Make Good Choices
October 9, 2009
— Much attention of late has been paid by Joint Team Andrews leadership on the dangers of inappropriate alcohol use with a focus on underage drinking. I also realize that some of our servicemembers who live in the dorms may feel they are being unfairly scrutinized regarding alcohol use on base. This if for good reason based on some concerning trends...
What is Naval Air Facility Washington?
October 2, 2009
— Before I address the topic at hand, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Col. Steven Shepro, 316th Wing/Joint Base Andrews commander, and his team of professionals, both military and civilian, for making the transition to Joint Base Andrews Naval Air Facility Washington, henceforth referred to as "Joint Base Andrews," as smooth as humanly...
A "Time Out" has its place in the Air Force
September 25, 2009
— The end of the fiscal year is fast approaching and, as a squadron commander, I have many issues to consider during this period. Of the many possible issues I could discuss, the one I want to focus on today is Leave. In the following paragraphs I will draw two phrases from our AFIs and discuss how they relate to your welfare. Let's begin our...
Get yourself something nice
September 18, 2009
— Today marks the 62nd birthday of our great Air Force. I know what you are thinking, "What gift can I get for the world's premier air power?" How about we pool our nickels together and get something really great! A few new airplanes would be nice; or even a new gym on base; that shiny new weapons system has been staring at me for months now.I've got...
Mayor shows exemplary leadership during 9/11
September 11, 2009
— Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani's actions following the 9/11 attack on the New York World Trade Center towers have been held by many to be a flawless example of crisis leadership. I believe there is much we can learn from the leadership behaviors he demonstrated during that trying time.On and after 9/11, Mayor Giuliani was out in front of the public and...
A Little Gem of Innocence
September 4, 2009
— "That's what it takes to be a hero, a little gem of innocence inside you that makes you want to believe that there still exists a right and wrong, that decency will somehow triumph in the end."- Lise Hand In his book, "True Faith and Allegiance: The Burden of Military Ethics," James H. Toner posited that the test of "true faith and allegiance lies...
Whose job is this?
August 28, 2009
— My family and I arrived at Andrews Air Force Base June 8. As you can imagine, we were filled with many emotions as we made our 14th move. A new home, a new job, a new community ... After all, we were all coming to the launching point for the president, Cabinet, senior military leaders, Congress, and we were now living here; it was all a bit much...
What makes a great leader?
August 21, 2009
— The U.S. Air Force is great because we demand leadership at all levels and ranks. So, what is leadership? Is it developed or innate? How do we apply leadership? These questions are raised at each professional military course.Leadership, for this article, is defined as the ability to set a vision and then inspire others to achieve it. In order to...
‘Tear down this wall’ between leadership and feedback
August 14, 2009
— We are rapidly approaching the 20th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. America's Armed Forces paid handsomely for the theoretical "Peace Dividend" that followed the Wall's fall - a dramatic reduction in our forces still being felt today as we have continuously rolled from one theater of operations to another without the stability offered...
Famous Last Words
August 7, 2009
— "No flying machine will ever fly from New York to Paris," so said Orville Wright. "Everything that can be invented has been invented," was quoted by the U.S. Office of Patents commissioner in 1899. Ah, famous last words these famous men probably regretted ever thinking, let alone saying. What about you? Have you ever said anything you wish you...
Empowerment key to betterment
July 31, 2009
— What is empowerment? According to Dictionary.com, "to empower is to give power or authority to; authorize, especially by legal or official means; to enable or permit."I see empowerment as one of our most critical skills as leaders: to build an environment of trust and empower others. In these days of increasing budget cuts and AFSO 21 further...
You are the War Fighter
July 17, 2009
— The men and women of the 89th Airlift Wing, as proud members of Team Andrews, have a long history of playing an integral role in the implementation of U.S. foreign and domestic policy. Although the business suits and blues you see these fliers wear might not look like a "war fighter" uniform, they are the uniforms that project Air Power like no...
What I Believe
July 6, 2009
— As we approach the Fourth of July holiday, I thought it appropriate to share some thoughts on what I believe after 19 years in the Air Force.I believe that the opportunity to serve our country in the military is the greatest calling that our country has to offer. Every day I wake up, put on my uniform, and find myself privileged to work with...
Working as a Team — The Only Way To Go!
June 26, 2009
— This past Sunday was Father's Day. To some, it is just another holiday. However, I used this week to reflect upon the importance of being a father and how being a father relates to living and working in a military environment. I am a father of three great children, and I have a beautiful wife of 19 years. I love them all, and I would be lost...
Wow! What a Ride It's Been! Can We Do It Again?
June 23, 2009
— When I first arrived at Andrews for my assignment as the 316th Wing vice commander, my predecessor, Col. Jenni Hesterman, gave me a pair of running shoes and said, "put these on because you won't stop running until you leave." Boy was she right! As you read this, I have already accomplished my turn over with my replacement, Col. Lee dePalo, and I...
Mentoring for the future
June 5, 2009
— When the commander informed me about writing an article for the Capital Flyer, I began to reminisce. I previously wrote a "From the Top" article about five years ago when I was the acting first sergeant for the former 89th Medical Support Squadron. I discussed 'getting out of your comfort zone.' Instead of choosing a topic to write about, I...
Back to Basics
May 29, 2009
— Earlier this week I had the opportunity to greet Vice President Joe Biden as he departed Andrews on his way to deliver the commencement address at the U.S. Air Force Academy. The brief interaction with our Nation's second in command was not only an honor, but one of the unique aspects of serving as a squadron commander at Andrews. Not surprisingly,...
The impact of an outstanding air show
May 21, 2009
— Congratulations Team Andrews! This weekend we completed another successful Joint Service Open House. Although the attendance numbers are not yet official, I estimate the crowds exceeded the 100,000 mark set last year. Great job Team!During this weekend, we thanked the public for the support they show the armed forces, as well as showcased our...
Enjoy the journey
May 8, 2009
— In 1983, college professor William Least Heat-Moon published his instant classic, "Blue Highways: a Journey into America," which chronicled his 13,000 mile journey along the back roads of America in a beat-up old van. Steering clear of the major cities and interstates, Mr. Moon toured 38 states along blue highways, the small state and country roads...
Pride, teamwork make the difference
May 4, 2009
— Every day at Andrews, history happens and you are a part of it. We have a no-fail mission, and the pride and teamwork that you exhibit on a daily basis makes Team Andrews successful. To date, you have probably seen and done more singular achievements here just this year than you ever would have imagined, such as the G20, Inauguration, presidential...
Be the leader you deserve
April 24, 2009
— Leadership is a key skill in most any organization, but it is a must in the military. Key aspects of leadership include setting a good example, followed closely by setting and then enforcing standards. We all know these tenets from professional military education and mentorship that we receive from those we work with daily. There are two additional...
Leadership with "Purity of Purpose"
April 17, 2009
— I have a theory about cats that I like to relay to all of my young officer friends and senior NCOs: Basically, there are three kinds of cats. First, are the cats that never catch mice. Second, are the cats that do catch mice, but they make sure master knows every time they do, eagerly bringing their prize latched in their jaws even to the dinner...
It's Often the Little Things
April 10, 2009
— Often in "From The Top," we write about large concepts like Integrity, Service, and Excellence. While these are important, and serve as the foundation for our service's core values, it is often the little things we do that truly define us as professionals. Recently Col. Clair Gilk wrote in this column about common courtesy and its contagious...