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‘Life is full of tests’
Lt. Gen. Darren McDew, 18th Air Force commander, speaks with members of Team Fairchild during an all-call at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., March 13, 2013. During the all-call, McDew spoke about the Air Force’s heritage and how Fairchild Airmen continue to contribute to it. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Janelle Patiño)
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18th Air Force Commander: 'Life is full of tests'

Posted 3/20/2013   Updated 3/22/2013 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Earlandez Young
92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

3/20/2013 - FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- "The founders of our Air Force were not pilots ... they were Airmen who happened to fly planes," said Lt. Gen. Darren McDew, the 18th Air Force commander, during an all-call here March 13. "They were bold, risk-taking, innovative Airmen who put it on the line to make something happen that didn't exist before - that's who founded the worlds' greatest air and space force."

The general noted that one of the things he enjoyed most about his three-day visit here was interacting with Airmen. He explained that after 30 years of service, that interaction lets him know "the Air Force still recruits and retains the best America has to offer."

"I enjoy getting out and visiting Airmen and visiting Fairchild in particular was important to me because I haven't been here in a number of years," he said. "The commander here has been telling me how great the Airmen here are, so I wanted to see firsthand."

Among the key points McDew shared with Fairchild Airmen was the understanding that life is full of tests.

He explained that while many people believe tests end when they depart their last school, they actually continue throughout a person's life. Because of that, he added, Airmen need to prepare because you never know when they are going to come.

"As mobility Airmen and Airmen in the Air Force, our challenge is to be ready for the tests our nation has for us," McDew said. "You prepare for these tests by deciding the type of Airmen you're going to be. Make the decision that you're going to be a person of integrity, about excellence in everything you do -- not just the things you like to. Be a leader every day in the areas you can control."

McDew noted that Airmen of every rank and AFSC are doing great things every day and seeing them doing the job firsthand gives him great energy.

"We're the only Air Force in the world that can do what we do and the only nation in the world that is willing to do what we do. Our job is important and vital," he added. "People care about what you do and thank you for continuing to do it -- we can't say it enough."

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