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From the Top: Passing the Torch

  • Published
  • By Lt. Gen. James F. Jackson
  • Commander, Air Force Reserve Command
The ending of any assignment is bittersweet, and the end of this one is no different. As I prepare to transition into the next phase with my family, I am excited but also a bit sad. We have accomplished so much together over the last four years, and it will be hard to leave the incredible people and families in our Air Force Reserve. However, I am leaving our Citizen Airmen in the hands of an amazing leadership team. Lt. Gen. Maryanne Miller, Chief Master Sgt. Ericka Kelly and I envision only greater accomplishments in your future.

First, I want to say thank you for the hard work, dedication and professionalism you have displayed throughout my tenure to provide combat-ready Citizen Airmen for our mission. I know without a doubt that I have had the opportunity to lead some of the most capable and innovative Airmen this country has ever seen. I am particularly proud of the progress we have made as part of the total force team. The work you have done to forge relationships and build capacity has helped us gain the confidence and trust of our Air Force senior leaders and has secured our place as a critical partner on our three-component team today and into the future.

The last few years have taught us the demand for combat-ready Citizen Airmen is not likely to decline. It is through your efforts that we will continue to rise to this challenge. I am exceedingly proud of our more than 5,000 Reservists who are mobilized on any given day supporting combatant commander requirements. I am also impressed by the work you have done in ushering in new technology and capabilities that make the Air Force Reserve strong. Your efforts bringing in new platforms like the F-35 and KC-46 as well as developing and growing our role in career fields like space, cyberspace, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance have increased our ability to fill critical capability and warfighting gaps.

As I pass the torch to your new leadership team, I challenge all of you to continue to focus on our Airmen and their families. Our force would not be strong or combat-ready without the men and women who put on the uniform and the home team that supports them. We must continue to focus on strengthening relationships and advocate for the tools, programs and resources our Air Force Reserve needs to remain strong and resilient. We also need your help to continue to bring up issues and challenges you are facing in the field so the new leadership team can address them.

Next month I will pass the torch officially and end my tour as chief of Air Force Reserve and commander, Air Force Reserve Command. However, Barb and I will always consider the Air Force Reserve as part of our extended family. It has been an honor and privilege to serve alongside each of you. Once again, thanks for all you’ve done and for all you continue to do!