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Welcoming the challenge of high standards

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. -- A quote by Shepard Kurnit, a highly successful 20th century advertising executive, reminded me of the renewed emphasis on standards in the Air Force and Air Force Space Command. He stated, "I'd push people back to their typewriters and drawing tables, telling them: 'You can do better; you have to do better.' And they'd do better. Good people respond to high standards."

The Department of Defense and the Air Force are lucky to have amazing people, and we will respond to these high standards with the same excellence that marks our storied history.

Setting high standards can span a broad spectrum of activities and efforts, from individual personal standards in everyday tasks to large organizational efforts. The exhilaration of achieving and exceeding these high standards will drive dedicated people to give their best and ultimately realize excellence and success.

This commitment applies to all activities and efforts in which we participate at work or home. We should look forward to the challenge of higher standards, as it will bring the best out of us individually and organizationally. With the national security mission our country entrusts us with, we must hold ourselves to the highest standards in all our endeavors.

The perceived grandeur of the work we perform does not matter. We should always set a high standard and strive to do our best. People are defined by efforts and performance rather than simply assigned tasks and responsibilities. Helen Keller drove this home with the following outlook: "I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker."

Our commitment to our Air Force's core value of "Excellence in all we do" is indubitably linked to this belief that the aggregate of all our members' best contributions is the foundation of the world's premier air and space force.

Here at the 45th Space Wing, our great people's commitment to high standards and excellence has produced 59 successful launches in a row for Air Force Space Command. I look forward to joining you in this continued commitment to excellence and keeping our track record of success moving forward to greater achievements.