CSAF shares insight, expectations with AU students, faculty
Story by SrA Alexa Culbert on 08/13/2019
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein visited the main Air University campus Aug. 7, 2019, at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.
The purpose of his visit was to address the students of Air War College and Air Command Staff College as they begin their academic year, as well as speaking with the university’s faculty on development and hear their questions and concerns.
“I truly value what you do and could not prouder of what comes out of Air University,” Goldfein said to AU faculty. “We must truly value education because it is fundamental to a technically innovative force.”
Goldfein challenged the students to accomplish three tasks while at AWC and ACSC: to re-blue, reconnect and recharge. He then encouraged the faculty to hold the students accountable in completing those tasks and to challenge the student’s way of thinking as they move forward.
The term re-blue refers to reapplying a protective coating on a weapon to prevent it from rusting, however in this case, the weapons are the students themselves and the re-bluing makes them more resilient and dedicated.
“One of the things I need you to come out of this year with is a sense of ownership as a senior leader of our service,” he said. “I need you to have ownership of this incredible institution called the United States Air Force, so take this time to re-blue and question everything that we’re doing.”
More than 700 students pass through the hallways of AWC and ACSC each year, giving Airmen the opportunity to network and create relationships that could help them throughout their careers.
“Reconnect this year and leave with a robust list of individuals who are a part of your brain trust, because I’m going to tell you, the problems that you are going to face are going to be wicked hard and complex and if we’re all thinking the same way, then someone is not thinking,” said Goldfein.
Goldfein told the audience that he had a good sense of what their day-to-day lives looked like prior to arriving based on the fact they had been selected to attend professional military education in-residence.He warned that although it took a great deal of hard work to get where they are now, it will only get more difficult once they graduate.
“The last thing that I need you to do is to recharge,” said Goldfein. “We, and I speak on behalf of the other joint chiefs, have plans for each of you in tough jobs, so make sure that you take this year to recharge and get that balance.”
Goldfein finished by sharing his thoughts on the future of the Air Force as a service and how Airmen must adapt to maintain the competitive advantage against adversaries.
“It is time for us to stop thinking about wars of attrition and to begin thinking about wars of cognition,” said Goldfein. “To shift the Air Force into a service that is optimized for multi-domain operations of the future. I think that’s the opportunity that we have and that’s what I want you to be thinking about this year as we go forward.”