You and your wingman matter

Maj. Gen. Margaret  Woodward assumed the duties of Air Force Chief of Safety and commander of the Air Force Safety Center on Sept.17.

Maj. Gen. Margaret Woodward assumed the duties of Air Force Chief of Safety and commander of the Air Force Safety Center on Sept.17.

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFNS) -- -- As we approach year-end, I invite every total-force Airman, civilian and Air Force contractor, to consider the extraordinary accomplishments of our Air Force over the last year. Together with the Joint Force, we've defended America's interests from every corner of the world, meeting incredible challenges with courage, commitment and innovation.

Today, our Air Force remains history's most capable and respected, and despite the inevitable uncertainty that lies in the future, there is no doubt we will continue to be the greatest fighting force on the planet for decades to come. This optimism comes from you, each and every Airman. As our most important and valuable resource, it is your energy, your strength and your resilience that will take our Air Force to the next level in terms of combat effectiveness, efficiency, and capability.

To be part of the solution, part of the answer and part of the future of the greatest Air Force in history, not only must you commit yourself to integrity, service, and excellence, you must commit yourself to safety as well. An operationally focused and fully combat capable unit, organized, trained and equipped to defend America, can be crippled by the loss of just one Airman. You and your wingman matter -- a lot, and you owe your family and your country a commitment to value your safety and the safety of those around you, with the same intensity that you hold for our other core values.

I urge you to consider all that you've learned about risk management and use those lessons in your decision-making every day. Losing an Airman to a preventable accident is the most tragic thing any unit can endure. You know what to do -- make responsible choices and avoid a lapse in judgment that could jeopardize your safety or that of others, today, tomorrow, throughout the holidays and the New Year.

I wish you all happy holidays and a winter season filled with great memories.