McChord’s Airmen rated among top 1% of Americans

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Gregory Schwartz
  • 8th Airlift Squadron commander
In the military we work hard, sometimes too hard to identify who our star performers are and what responsibilities we will bestow on them next.

Stratification is something we deal with every time we pen an officer or enlisted performance report. We use that in an attempt to separate the wheat from the chaff and identify our superstars.

After 20 years in the service of our country, having spent much of that time outside the continental boundaries and having operated with militaries from around the world, I offer you another deserving stratification that will never show up on your performance report: Top one percent of 300 million U.S. citizens.

You all deserve it because you volunteered to serve this country and do so without reservation. 

Whether you serve 20 years or a four-year enlistment, I grant you my personal stratification of top one percent of U.S. citizens, and I thank you for your service.

America has almost 300 million citizens whose interests are protected by you, the 3 million or so active duty, Reserve and Nation- al Guard members of all our services.

On April 18, 1942, 65 years ago, America was engaged in a very different war. People volunteered to join Doolittle's Raiders to strike the first blow to Japanese homeland flying land-based bombers off the deck of aircraft carriers.

They were all volunteers, just like you.

The nation was fully engaged in that war, both in the theaters of operations and in the factories and homes and farms back home.

Rationing was common nationwide for various metals and gas, and factories worked 24 hours a day, seven days a week to produce ships, tanks, and aircraft for the war effort. 

Today is a very different story.

The burden of this Global War on Terror has fallen and will continue to fall solely on your shoulders and the shoulders of your families.

The sacrifices the nation endured back in the 1940's are not evident today in main stream society.

We are a tremendously wealthy nation, and this war we are currently engaged in will be fought solely with volunteers.

So as we salute the Airmanship and heroism of Doolittle's Raiders some 65 years ago, I salute you all for your volunteerism and thank you all for what you do every day for our nation.

I place you squarely in the top one percent of great Americans in my book.