MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. --
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein visited Air University’s Air Command and Staff College Aug. 27, to set the stage for what the students should focus on during the academic year.
Goldfein spoke to more than 640 joint and international majors and government civilians, focusing comments on leadership, command, and squadron vitality efforts.
In August of 2016, Goldfein laid out his priorities for the Air Force in a letter to Airmen, with the first priority being to revitalize squadrons.
Within the letter, Goldfein emphasized squadrons as “the beating heart of the United States Air Force; our most essential team. We succeed or fail in our missions at the squadron-level because that is where we develop, train and build Airmen. …”
Two years later the Air Force identified multiple areas to improve the lethality and readiness of squadrons.
“If there’s one thing I’m focused on, it’s revitalizing the fighting formations of the United States Air Force, which are our squadrons,” he said. “Because here’s what happens in our service – when an Airman comes out of basic training they go to a squadron and we infuse them with the culture of what it means to be an Airmen. And as a squadron commander, you are going to have the most impact on individual Airmen at that level of command.”
Goldfein provided additional perspectives to the cohort informed by his more than 26 years of command-level experience.
“Trust your gut. You will be chosen for command like you were chosen for this school - we trust you,” Goldfein said.
Goldfein said there were three things he wanted the class to gain from their ACSC experience - to expand thinking and understanding of joint warfare, to build a robust and diverse network, and to find balance.
“I need graduates of this institution to understand the business of joint warfare, and to look at how to optimize what we bring to the table to our nation’s business,” he said. “You can only do that if you establish trust and confidence over the course of this year.”
Before opening up the floor for questions, Goldfein ended by saying that being offered the opportunity to serve in command or staff is the greatest blessing the Air Force can give to an officer in their careers, because it gives them a chance to make a difference in people's lives.