AETC commander speaks on heritage, core values key to Airmen’s success

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Esther Willett
  • Air Force District of Washington Public Affairs
The commander of Air Education and Training Command highlighted command priorities during the 2014 Air Force Association’s Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition here Sept. 17.

Gen. Robin Rand, whose command is responsible for recruiting, training and educating all Air Force members, told the 200-member AFA audience that AETC supports its mission, Airmen, and families by preserving strong ties to Air Force heritage and core values.

“I feel like I’m the luckiest guy in the Air Force,” Rand said. “We recruit, we train, and we educate Airmen -- that’s our real weapon system.”

Rand believes military training programs are foundational to mission success and the strength of the force. More than 293,000 students flow through AETC training pipelines each year.

Rand cited stories of Airmen supporting the AETC mission, adding that while parents may be unaware of what the Air Force will demand from their sons and daughters. The command must do everything possible to ensure Airmen are well-trained, resourced and equipped.

Ultimately, Rand asserted Air Force success depends on the integration of its core values and rich heritage into Airmen. He said AETC plans to incorporate initiatives throughout basic military training and other key “touchpoints” during an Airman’s career. With a purpose to educate members on their legacy and values, allowing them to better understand and appreciate the profession of arms.

“We want to inspire people to do the right thing, and to inspire them, we’ll use our heritage,” Rand said. “History makes you smarter, but heritage makes you prouder.”