An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Ready Now! Transforming for the Future

  • Published
  • By Lt. Gen. John Healy


“If the experience of four wars during my lifetime gives me any license to dispense advice, it is to remember how unprepared we were before each of these conflicts. We should never allow this to happen again.

General James “Jimmy” Doolittle


Citizen Airmen,

I am honored and extremely humbled to be your new commander. By now, I trust each of you read the Air Force Reserve Command Task Order 22-0001. The TASKORD lays out the steps each of us, as members of the AFR Enterprise, need to take to ensure we are ready to deter, and if necessary, defeat a peer adversary.

As we move forward, I have two priorities:  Ready Now! and Transforming for the Future. Ready Now! means that our military members are medically ready, physically fit, and proficient in both their in-garrison and deployed jobs. For our civilian workforce, this means acting expediently to ensure our military members have the resources necessary for their assigned missions.

Transforming for the Future means we must continue to strive for and embrace new tools and processes to effectively resource every Airman.  As the Air Force leader in data analytic maturity, we will continue to deploy business intelligence tools that bridge dozens of stove-piped systems to enable data-driven decisions at the speed of relevance. Transformation requires not only enhancements in systems but changes in mindset. Leaders at all levels will leverage business intelligence to enhance the intellectual rigor required to decide where to invest limited resources and maximize readiness.

Our two priorities are not just a bumper sticker but were shaped by the last decade of my career. When I worked in the Strategic Planning Directorate on the Air Staff, I did two iterations of the AF Title X wargame where we identified the growing threat from China and our eroding technological advantages.  As a Mobilization Assistant at the 618th Air Operations Center, I was the Director of Mobility Forces for PACIFIC SENTRY, where the tyranny of distance in INDOPACOM was as problematic as our adversaries. Finally, during my two years as the Director of Exercises and Assessments in EUCOM, I watched continuously escalating Russian aggression on NATO’s eastern flank. Each of these experiences shaped my view of how the Air Force Reserve must evolve to counter generational threats to our national security. These priorities also serve to keep us in lock step with the Secretary of the Air Force’s Operational Imperatives, which lay out a roadmap for how we will be able to respond to these looming threats.

Our most valuable resource remains our Reserve Citizen Airmen. Successfully implementing these two priorities hinges upon our ability to develop institutional competencies grounded in our values.  At an enterprise level, we must develop and implement a Human Capital Strategy to ensure we are appropriately staffed across units and career fields as we develop the leaders needed for the future. At the unit level, this means safeguarding meaningful training that drives readiness at every opportunity.

To build our part of the Air Force the Nation Needs, we need to apply intellectual rigor to our requirements process. In an era of strategic competition defined by limited resources, we must continuously reevaluate even our most basic assumptions of how we can compete against pacing threats. As we are resourced, leaders at all levels must take aggressive ownership of managing their funds. Budgetary constraints require us to be exceptionally prudent in only spending on those efforts which enhance readiness to deter and prevail against our peer competitors.

Finally, as an organization, we need to embrace a culture of accountability. As professionals, we owe it to one another to ensure readiness and mission success, because the urgency for change is high and consequences of failure are too great.

I am confident that as a team we can implement deliberate change to ensure we do our part to be the Air Force our Nation Needs, ready to rise to the challenges of today in order to deter and defeat the threats of tomorrow. I am proud to serve with each of you and look forward to increasing momentum on our readiness and reform priorities.