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Joint Airmen are still Airmen

  • Published
  • By Command Chief Master Sgt. Jeffrey Cui
  • U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center
Airmen at Air Mobility Command's three Joint Bases and at the two AMC bases where missions are evolving as a result of previous Base Realignment and Closure decisions are immersed in joint training and operations every day. This is a key part of ensuring America's military remains the most efficient and most feared capability in the world. But equally important, we cannot ever forget the Airman culture as we continue to integrate with our joint partners.

Joint basing and joint service assures Department of Defense leadership servicemembers of every branch are ready and able to bring their unique skills and interoperability to the fight quicker and better than ever. As Airmen, we are focused on airpower, and in AMC, we narrow that focus to supporting global air mobility wherever and whenever combatant commanders require. Every Airman, regardless of Air Force Specialty Code, knows their job supports air operations going on somewhere in the world at any given moment.

The Air Force has been joint since long before 'all in' became the Chief of Staff's directive, and we were expeditionary long before Expeditionary Combat Support became formalized. First as part of the Army Signal Corps and later Army Air Forces, Airmen were deployed during World War I and World War II before we became a separate service in 1947. During the Cold War, we partnered with the Navy to comprise the feared nuclear triad which continues today to provide an umbrella of nuclear deterrence for America and our allies. And now, in joint operations around the world, expeditionary Airmen provide combat support and airpower in every region of the globe.

Yet, even in a joint environment, Airmen are still part of the Air Force for a reason. Joint commanders know Airmen in today's Air Force are the best educated, most professional force in our service's history. And that's an important identifier we cannot afford to lose.

As Airmen, we are part of the youngest, most diverse service in DOD. By that very nature, we must remain focused on what makes us Airmen -- our core values, our professionalism and our expertise. As you work side by side with your counterparts and our joint partners, don't be ashamed of your blue uniform, be proud of your membership in a highly professional organization where you may be supporting satellite launches one day and supporting ground operations against insurgents the next.

Because we've been raised in a joint environment and taught to be professionals first, we have a unique flexibility that allows us to don Air Force blue anywhere in the world and support global airpower and expeditionary missions as part of the joint team. But wherever you go, you still represent your service and your country. Continue to be the professionals and the Airmen our leaders depend on and that joint commanders need.