Lead Through the Changing Times

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen. Anthony Cotton
  • 45th Space Wing
Change is occurring all around us. Our senior Air Force leaders are facing momentous decisions affecting budgets and manning. These decisions bring change that
we should be quick to embrace.
Some of our Airmen have been directly impacted by recent changes to high-year tenure policies, Force Shaping, Don't Ask Don't Tell and fitness requirements. Our wing and tenant units have all been affected by the Air Force budget and manning reductions. While some may see these changes as drastic and unprecedented, a natural reaction to change, we should embrace it as an opportunity.

Change is a part of life. It is certainly a part of military service and the Air Force. Anyone who has spent more than a few years in military or government service knows that change is always occurring.

I admit that change can be difficult. But it also keeps us sharp. The Chief of Staff recently made this point in testimony to Congress.

"As part of the defense strategic guidance, we are structuring our force to be agile and responsive, even as we accept the risk associated with a smaller force," Gen. Norton Schwartz stated.

Agile and responsive. These are the goals to which any large organization and bureaucracy should strive. If our Wing can be responsive to change, then we have succeeded immensely.

One of the changes that we are currently seeing at Patrick is the re-designation of the 45th Logistics Readiness Flight as a squadron. This is a positive step forward and
reflects the hard work of all of our logisticians. I applaud Maj Paul Barthal and his team of professionals and look forward to their continued success as a Logistics Readiness Squadron.

As you encounter changes to policies, regulations and laws, do not dwell on what you perceive to be the negative parts of the changes. Keep a positive attitude and examine what you can do to make the changes more effective and efficient. As a former Air Force Space Command commander once told a group of leaders, "you'll be faced with incredible challenges...you must lead through them!"

As you have heard me say many times before, we all enter the Air Force as leaders. Being promoted allows you to use more tools from your leadership toolkit. I'd like to
acknowledge the 15 Major selects from the 45 SW and AFTAC who will have the opportunity to do just that. Congratulations to Capt Baird, Capt Bartram, Capt Black,
Capt Choi, Capt Holmes, Capt Judge, Capt Koch, Capt Timsuren, Capt Neuber, Capt Rickert , Capt Sakin, Capt Sanders, Capt Shelnutt, Capt Villafuerte and Capt Zimmerman as they become Field Grade Officers.

Well done and Keep Pushing Sharks!