Building on a Solid Foundation
By Lt. Gen. Richard W. Scobee
/ Published November 28, 2018
Heroes of the Air Force Reserve: Our success as an organization and our achievements as individuals depend on having a solid foundation.
A solid foundation provides a basis for us to continue building, the flexibility to adjust to changing conditions, and as Hurricanes Florence and Michael recently taught us, the faith that we can survive and rebuild after even the worst of storms.
As the chief of the Air Force Reserve, an important part of my job is to ensure we have a solid foundation. This requires setting and aligning our strategic objectives with the National Defense Strategy and our Air Force priorities while eliminating barriers that present challenges to mission success.
Chief Kelly and I recently released an Air Force Reserve strategic priorities memorandum that defines our lines of effort towards these objectives, readies our Citizen Airmen to support the next fight and strengthens its foundation. If you haven’t had the opportunity yet, I’d encourage you to visit the Air Force Reserve Command homepage at https://www.afrc.af.mil to learn more about our Vision and Priorities, which further explains what we want to accomplish and how we plan to move forward into the future.
The foundation of our Air Force Reserve is the operational strength and strategic depth that our 74,000 Citizen Airmen and civilians provide to America’s Air Force, the joint force and this great nation. We are and will continue to be America’s weapon of choice, providing agile combat forces to fly, fight and win.
As Reserve Citizen Airmen, we must continue to strengthen our foundation by improving force support programs that benefit families. Last year we made tremendous progress in this area. In February, we made changes to the Air Force Reserve Yellow Ribbon Program that allow Citizen Airmen to bring additional family members to events where they receive information on educational benefits, health care and retirement.
In addition, we reduced the time associated with medical case review at the HQ AFRC Surgeon General’s Office by 88 percent over the past year by hiring additional medical staff and improving processes.
We also installed career advisors in 39 military personnel flights, improved Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance during deployments, and continued converting many positions from Air Reserve Technician to Active Guard and Reserve status.
This past summer, we removed restrictions to increase travel funding during inactive duty training for personnel in select career fields.
We continue to improve retention among ARTs by expanding the aviation bonus to qualified personnel. We are doing these things for you, to create an environment where people want to stay, do great things and serve to their fullest potential.
Most importantly, many of these initiatives support and protect the people Citizen Airmen cherish the most -- their families.
As we enter the holiday season and the new year, please take the opportunity to spend quality time with the special people in your lives. They support you during drill weekends and deployments, help you advance in your career, lend an ear when you need someone to talk to, and give you the faith and reassurance that you can overcome the toughest obstacles.
Most importantly, they inspire you to be your best each and every day!
Janis and I would like to wish everyone happy holidays and a very happy new year!