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How cool is this?

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Kevin Candler
  • 375th air mobility wing command chief
Do you ever take a breath and ask yourself that question? Amid the challenges we face every day, I'll be the first one to say it's difficult to simply think about one's life, but if you have time today to ask that question, what would your answer be? Well, as I leave Scott Air Force Base and the Showcase Pride within 3-7-5 for our next opportunity, here are my thoughts in relation to that question.

What a mission! Fueling the fight, transporting wounded and injured service members to care away from the battle space, and providing airlift so diplomacy can be conducted to shape the future--does it get better than this? This wing, its people, and the air mobility forces throughout the world answer the call each and every day so that others may prevail ... we understand why our mission is vital to the defense of this nation and to the aid of others, and we never falter.

I get to lead Airmen! Seeing what they accomplish day in and day out, despite the obstacles placed in front of them, at times is a thrill. But, it is also a sobering responsibility that must be taken seriously. I'm always aware that many of our Airmen's mothers and fathers rely on me each and every day. That's something you don't inherit in most other professions, but an absolute commitment and privilege that I embrace. What an honor it is to have someone trust in you that much.

What a diverse and vibrant community! Every day at Scott AFB, 12,000 to 14,000 personnel come through the gate. Every U.S. Armed Forces Service has personnel here; many civilian patriots and retirees make Scott AFB their place of service and home; every component of our Air Force is present--Guard, Reserve, and Active Duty--truly the Total Force and a tremendous Leadership University platform.

We have numerous partners, to include the 126th Air Refueling Wing, the 932nd Airlift Wing, Air Force Network Integration Center, Air Force Global Logistics Support Center, 618th Air and Space Operations Center, 18th Air Force, U.S. Army Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, DISA-CONUS, DITCO, Air Mobility Command, and United States Transportation Command to mention a few. One might think these missions and warriors are connected only by geography, but the collaboration is amazing to watch and be a part of--without a doubt, together, we deliver.

At the same time, we are so fortunate to be living among community partners who genuinely care about the welfare of our service and family members. Whether it's a small town or downtown St. Louis parade, a fall festival or a fourth of July celebration, the great Midwesterners illustrate their pride and appreciation for what the uniform represents--so much so, that I witnessed tears in many Airmen's eyes. What a sight! What a feeling! What a family!

What opportunity! I'm reminded that every few minutes, there are two people driving opposite directions on Interstate 64 just one mile away from here. During the summer when the corn fields are 10 feet tall, they have no idea we are here and we will never know them, but we are connected. What we accomplish together at Scott AFB and the capability we project affords these two people, and thousands like them, the freedoms and opportunities they so dearly desire and count on in order to live the life they and their parents envisioned. I have the honor of being part of a team that enables those dreams to come true.

Very rarely do we take the time to reflect adequately on what we are a part of and the impact we have on today's world and in shaping the world for generations yet unborn. How cool is this, I asked myself? It is damn cool. In fact it's the coolest!