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'Thanks for all your hard work over the past year'

Lt. Gen. Richard W. Scobee, Commander, Air Force Reserve Command, high-fives members of the 386th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron during a visit to an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, Feb. 12, 2019. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. Robert Cloys)

Lt. Gen. Richard W. Scobee, Commander, Air Force Reserve Command, high-fives members of the 386th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron during a visit to an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, Feb. 12, 2019. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. Robert Cloys)

Lt. Gen. Richard W. Scobee, Commander, Air Force Reserve Command, posses for a selfie with Airmen during a visit to the 514th Air Mobility Wing on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., January 12, 2018. Scobee visited the 514 AMW to become more familiar with the units capabilities and the Reserve Citizen Airmen that serve within them. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Sean M. Evans)

Lt. Gen. Richard W. Scobee, Commander, Air Force Reserve Command, posses for a selfie with Airmen during a visit to the 514th Air Mobility Wing on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., January 12, 2018. Scobee visited the 514 AMW to become more familiar with the units capabilities and the Reserve Citizen Airmen that serve within them. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Sean M. Evans)

Lt. Gen. Richard W. Scobee, Commander, Air Force Reserve Command, shakes the hand of an Airman during a visit to the 514th Air Mobility Wing on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., January 12, 2018. Scobee visited the 514 AMW to become more familiar with the units capabilities and the Reserve Citizen Airmen that serve within them. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Sean M. Evans)

Lt. Gen. Richard W. Scobee, Commander, Air Force Reserve Command, shakes the hand of an Airman during a visit to the 514th Air Mobility Wing on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., January 12, 2018. Scobee visited the 514 AMW to become more familiar with the units capabilities and the Reserve Citizen Airmen that serve within them. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Sean M. Evans)

Lt. Gen. Richard W. Scobee, Commander, Air Force Reserve Command, shakes hands with a Senior Airman attached to the 452d Air Mobility Wing, March Air Reserve Base, California, during a visit to the base in April of 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Russell McMillan)

Lt. Gen. Richard W. Scobee, Commander, Air Force Reserve Command, shakes hands with a Senior Airman attached to the 452d Air Mobility Wing, March Air Reserve Base, California, during a visit to the base in April of 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Russell McMillan)

Lt. Gen. Richard W. Scobee, Commander, Air Force Reserve Command, tosses the game coin in the air at midfield of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, before the start of the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl, December 15, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Stephen D. Schester)

Lt. Gen. Richard W. Scobee, Commander, Air Force Reserve Command, tosses the game coin in the air at midfield of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, before the start of the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl, December 15, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Stephen D. Schester)

Lt. Gen. Richard W. Scobee, Commander, Air Force Reserve Command, administers the Oath of Enlistment to Airmen attached to the 940th Airlift Wing, Beale Air Force Base, California, for a re-enlistment ceremony during the January Unit Training Assembly of 2019, Beale Air Force Base, California. (Courtesy photo)

Lt. Gen. Richard W. Scobee, Commander, Air Force Reserve Command, administers the Oath of Enlistment to Airmen attached to the 940th Airlift Wing, Beale Air Force Base, California, for a re-enlistment ceremony during the January Unit Training Assembly of 2019, Beale Air Force Base, California. (Courtesy photo)

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Ericka Kelly, Command Chief, Air Force Reserve Command and U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Richard W. Scobee, Commander, AFRC, hold the Offensive Most Valuable Player Award for the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl before presenting it to the recipient at the conclusion of the game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, December 15, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Stephen D. Schester)

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Ericka Kelly, Command Chief, Air Force Reserve Command and U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Richard W. Scobee, Commander, AFRC, hold the Offensive Most Valuable Player Award for the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl before presenting it to the recipient at the conclusion of the game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, December 15, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Stephen D. Schester)

Newly appointed Commander of Air Force Reserve Command, Lt. Gen. Richard W. Scobee is interviewed by local news affiliates after his assumption-of-command ceremony at the Museum of Aviation, Warner Robins, Georgia, Sept. 27, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Stephen D. Schester)

Newly appointed Commander of Air Force Reserve Command, Lt. Gen. Richard W. Scobee is interviewed by local news affiliates after his assumption-of-command ceremony at the Museum of Aviation, Warner Robins, Georgia, Sept. 27, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Stephen D. Schester)

Lt. Gen. Richard W. Scobee, Commander, Air Force Reserve Command, briefs about the importance of seeking mental health help during a resiliency briefing at the Museum of Aviation, Warner Robins, Georgia, Sept 3, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by MSgt Stephen D. Schester)

Lt. Gen. Richard W. Scobee, Commander, Air Force Reserve Command, briefs about the importance of seeking mental health help during a resiliency briefing at the Museum of Aviation, Warner Robins, Georgia, Sept 3, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by MSgt Stephen D. Schester)

Lt. Gen. Richard W. Scobee, Commander, Air Force Reserve Command, looks over the Profiles in Leadership printouts with Phil Rhodes, a public affairs specialist, during a tour of the AFRC PA facilities, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., November 8, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Stephen D. Schester)
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Lt. Gen. Richard W. Scobee, Commander, Air Force Reserve Command, looks over the Profiles in Leadership printouts with Phil Rhodes, a public affairs specialist, during a tour of the AFRC PA facilities, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., November 8, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Stephen D. Schester)

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --

Heroes of the Air Force Reserve:

Last month marked my first anniversary as commander of this amazing organization. It has been an incredibly busy year.

My focus is taking care of our Reserve Citizen Airmen and their families while ensuring we continue to provide robust capability to the joint force. I have no doubt we are ready for the future fight.

Less than a month after I took command, Hurricane Michael decimated Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, directly impacting our readiness and affecting our Airmen in the region. The command immediately took action, which ensured support to our personnel and enabled us to rapidly regain mission capabilities in the aftermath of the storm.

These actions and all the command’s efforts over the past year were driven by our mandate to support our Airmen and the three strategic priorities we established last fall: prioritizing strategic depth and accelerating readiness, developing resilient leaders, and reforming the organization.

These actions included taking smart risks to correct issues which could be quickly fixed, such as the medical “no-pay/no-points” policy for medical participation. However, many challenges cannot be resolved so rapidly. We have identified these issues and launched efforts to continue improving the command.

Throughout the year, I met with Congressional leaders, and in the spring I testified before subcommittees in the House and Senate. These engagements provided an opportunity to discuss the Air Force Reserve and our Reserve Citizen Airmen, informing legislative representatives of how we contribute to the national defense and of the needs of our members and their families.

The support and understanding of Congress is essential to our success. Congress controls our funding and can change the federal regulations which govern aspects of our operations. This includes civilian hiring.

Congress recently granted us direct hiring authority, which enabled us to fill 275 positions in six months. This, along with our decision to accelerate the conversion of selected ART authorizations to AGR billets, has increased our full-time manning by 3%.

In the last year, I’ve met with Air Force and other major command leaders to discuss the Air Force Reserve’s contributions and our role in the Total Force. I also spoke to audiences, large and small, about the Reserve and the amazing things our Airmen do every day.

However, the highlight of the past year has been traveling to Reserve wings and meeting our incredible Reserve Citizen Airmen. In the last 12 months, the command chief and I visited units across the country as well as four bases in the Central Command area of responsibility where we saw nearly 1,600 deployed Reservists in action.

These visits allowed me to see what our Airmen do firsthand. During these travels, I had the opportunity to meet with specialists from a variety of Air Force career fields, discuss their unique missions, the challenges they face and the tools they need to succeed.

It’s always a pleasure to sit down with our Reserve Citizen Airmen and learn about their contributions to the Air Force Reserve and our national defense. The Reserve is home to 20% of the Air Force’s capability, yet we operate on only 3% of the total Air Force budget. We are able to accomplish so much with so little because our Airmen are highly dedicated and incredibly capable.

Thank you for all your hard work over the past year. The command chief and I will continue our efforts to improve this organization with the ultimate goal of providing excellent support to you, our Reserve Citizen Airmen, and your families. We coexist to make your lives better, while ensuring operational readiness.

I am eager to witness the great things we, as a resilient, ready team, will accomplish in the coming year.