We honor the Air Force’s 75th birthday by celebrating our service’s rich past and evoking the gallantry of Airmen who rose to the challenges of their respective eras. In Veteran Chronicles: In Their Own Words, Brig. Gen. Charles McGee reflects on his remarkable thirty-year career as one of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen. Although Gen. McGee passed away in January at the age of 102 after “a life well lived,” his courage and embodiment of the core values continue to buoy us into the future.
This past July, I had the incredible honor of meeting Colonel “Bud” Anderson, America’s last living triple fighter ace, at the annual Oshkosh air show in Wisconsin. Colonel Anderson’s autobiographical account in the Warriors in Their Own Words podcast is another enthralling and heroic personification of Airmen rising to the challenge to meet seemingly impossible tasks and defeat the enemies of their time.
Galvanizing the rich legacies of Airmen like Brig. Gen. McGee and Col. Anderson requires us to continue building an enlisted and officer corps that represents the best the Nation has to offer. Managing Generation Z: How to Recruit, Onboard, Develop, and Retain the Newest Generation in the Workplace by Robin Paggi and Kat Clowes is a practical guide for leaders at all echelons to understand, recruit, train, and lead the next generation of professional Airmen.
Tomorrow’s Airmen face renewed 21st-century challenges of managing deterrence, preparing for near-peer conflict, and innovating an updated force design. Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness illustrates how to reframe these wicked problems by using “nudges” to avoid bias and recognize subtle cues to modify how we make decisions.
Airmen are our legacy. We will continue to be the world’s greatest Air Force because Airmen have always risen to the challenge. Airmen, not technology, built and refined a professional culture that never stopped improving the employment of Airpower. We carry that ethos forward by growing the next generation of American Airmen that will “Accelerate, Innovate, and Thrive” during the next 75 years.
Fly, Fight, & Win…Airpower Anytime, Anywhere!
CHARLES Q. BROWN, JR.
General, U.S. Air Force
Chief of Staff
Editor’s note: The CSAF Leadership Library is a fluid set of media selected by Gen. Brown that evolves as novel ideas are published, recorded and debated. New entries will be added periodically throughout the year.