Reserved for the best

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen. Susan Helms
  • 45th SW commander
Who says lightning doesn't strike twice in the same place? 

With Staff Sgt. Clinton Petit's selection as Air Force Reserve Command's Airman Individual Mobility Augmentee of the Year, our wing has two Airmen competing as finalists for a spot as one of our Air Force's 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year! 

Sergeant Petit is a reservist assigned to our 45th Security Forces Squadron. He's one of approximately 135 individual mobilization augmentees serving in the 45th Space Wing. I'm willing to bet that many who work with Clinton didn't even realize he's a reservist. In fact, he's a great example of how effectively reservists are serving seamlessly - not only here, but throughout our Air Force, both in active duty and Reserve home and abroad. 

Here at Patrick, we share our base with outstanding Guard and Reserve units, including the Guard's 114th Combat Communications Squadron and 114th Range Flight, and the Reserve's 920th Rescue Wing. I never cease to be amazed at what Airmen from these fine units accomplish. Weekend warriors? Hardly! These highly skilled warriors routinely prove their mettle by executing some of our Air Force's most challenging missions. 

Their contributions are absolutely critical in these difficult days of less active duty members, diminishing budgets and increasing responsibilities at a time of war. The Total Force pays great dividends as we fight this Global War on Terrorism. We simply could not get the job done without fully integrating our Reserve, Guard and active duty forces into the mix. 

Once upon a time, Guard and Reserve forces were considered the second team. Nowadays, nothing could be farther from the truth. Sergeant Petit and others like him are living proof that reservists and guardsmen are on the front lines and fully share the "warrior ethos" with those of us on active duty. 

As Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley said recently, "This warrior ethos exhibits a hardiness of spirit, and moral and physical courage." Every Airman is part of the fight today. We are warriors. All Airmen - active, Guard and Reserve - demonstrate the warrior ethos by deploying around the world to fly, fight and win in the air, space and cyberspace. 

Take pride in being Warrior Airmen and in being part of a Total Force that's second to none. Nobody does it better.