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Chief's Corner - week of Jan. 23

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Surviving force reductions

I was recently asked by a senior airman if I had any pointers for hard times like this in the military. I told him that there are no hard and fast pointers to guarantee a member will "survive" the force reductions. I did give him some recommendations; here are a few those: pass your fitness tests, complete professional military education commensurate with your rank, complete a Community College of the Air Force degree for your current career field, cross train into chronic critical manned career fields, and pursue developmental special duty assignments.

As the senior airman stated, these could be considered hard times for the military, especially for the members who will be required to separate or retire under the current force management actions. However, this is not the first time that the United States military has undergone major force reductions. After World War II, members of the "Greatest Generation" were discharged from the military in large numbers. They entered into the public and private sector and built the United States into the most dominant economic and military power in the history of the world.

We should encourage our new veterans to emulate members of the "Greatest Generation." Encourage them to continue to serve our great nation either in the public or private sector. We need these truly dedicated professionals to work to keep our country from going the way of the Roman Empire. We need our new veterans to step-up and carry the mantle of the World War II veterans and help fix the country's problems so that we remain the country that the Greatest Generation helped build.
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