Who puts the “Win” in “Fly, Fight, Win”?

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Matt Anderson
  • 4th Airlift Squadron, commander
The mission of the United States Air Force is to "Fly, Fight and Win...in Air, Space and Cyberspace." However, unless we're watching Charlie Sheen interviews on the internet (search "Charlie Sheen interview winning") we don't hear much discussion about winning these days. Personally, I think the Air Force is ready to talk winning.

Last Friday at McChord Field, we hosted our annual Team McChord Sports Day. It is the one day out of the year that we set aside time to compete in various athletic endeavors. We create teams. We compete. We declare winners, and by default, we identify losers. Healthy competition amongst Airmen is good. It creates innovation. It raises standards. It identifies winners. It also identifies losers. Airmen thrive in competition as many grew up either competing on the fields of friendly strife, in the classroom, or in the private sector. Unfortunately, after joining the Air Force, many forget where they came from and the attributes that got them here. Discipline. Commitment. Respect. Winning.

The American taxpayers expect their Air Force to win, period. The day we lose the American public's faith and confidence in our ability to fight and win our nations wars, we have lost. However, as we have seen lately, we must win in more domains than just Air, Space and Cyberspace.

It is time to win the war on Sexual Assault. Our Chief of Staff, General Welsh, recently declared this his top priority. Just like World Wars I and II, sexual assault must be won in the trenches -not by our four-star generals or in the halls of Congress. It will be won in the dorms. It will be won at deployed locations. It will be won in the workplace. Ultimately, it will be won by Airmen taking care of each other at the at the squadron level.

I challenge you to create a healthy, competitive squadron. One that breeds winners, expects personal responsibility, and demands a climate that is rooted in respect. Don't be afraid to reward those continuing to win in both their personal and professional lives. At the same time, identify the losers. Those who commit and condone sexual assault need to be kicked off the team. It's what America expects us to do. Play to win!