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SecAF visits Joint Base San Antonio

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) --

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James met with several Airmen during a visit Jan. 31 at Joint Base San Antonio.

She served as the reviewing official for the basic military training graduation parade, toured dormitory facilities and visited with officials at the 24th Air Force Headquarters before concluding her one-day visit with an Air Education and Training Command all call at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph.

During the all call, James stressed the importance of retaining and recruiting people for the right job.

"The central core issue, all of the time, is people," she said. "People underpin everything that we do. I learned about people on Capitol Hill. I dealt with people issues at the Pentagon. If you didn't have the right people in the right job, you weren't going to deliver much of any type of technology, services or solutions.

"It always comes back to the people. I know I am preaching to the choir, because that is your business here; your business is people," James said.

James also took time to comment on the role that AETC members play in recruiting, preparing and educating today's Airmen.

"It makes me very proud to see what I have seen; I'm especially proud of what you all are doing here at (AETC)," she said. "You are so fundamental to our young Airmen in their earliest days - at basic training and the technical training level. You are the first line in molding them into the Airmen of the future.

"It's our charge to make sure we have a highly capable force no matter what we do," James said. "So, that means, we've got to continue to recruit and retain those terrific young people; develop them, give them the right training and make sure we do this right going forward."

During the all call, James spoke to the audience about her career history and leadership experience. She spoke about the priorities she's laid out for the Air Force going forward, what she sees in the Air Force's future and her personal philosophy, which she calls her Top 10 List.

The 10 lessons learned include: being prepared to zigzag in life as it may throw you curveballs, practicing good ethics, seeking a mentor, building a valuable network and building confidence within yourself. James also stressed the importance of ethics, communication and being a good role model, remaining up-beat, persistent and having balance.

James wrapped up the all call with a promise of a return visit.

"It was very inspiring to meet with those young graduates, to see some of the families and the pride in the MTIs' (military training instructors') eyes," she said. "I am looking forward to a return visit."

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