Thank You and Welcome

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Kristen M. Maloney
  • 908th Airlift Wing

Farewell and Hello. Good luck and Congrats. These are just some phrases some of us are saying to our departing wing commander, Col. Craig Drescher, and to our new wing commander, Col. Christopher Lacouture.

I wanted to address how, in this moment of transition, it can be a great time to reflect, correlate it to change, and address how this type of change is healthy; but I paused.  I found myself wondering if this transition in leadership holds more feelings for most Airmen in our wing. 

Though I’ve only worked alongside Col. Drescher for few months, it was what I was able to witness that I believe makes this handoff of leadership different and potentially filled with mixed emotions. Col. Drescher has an innate amount of wisdom for the 908th and it came from the amount of dedication he holds to his responsibility in every aspect as a wing commander. I can say he is a fierce, yet caring leader who expected only the best out of each of us. I’d expect some will miss his leadership and presence. 

For those that don’t, if you keep pressing on with this thing called your Air Force career, something down the road will bring you to a reflection point. You’ll be reminded why standards, all standards, are so important, why he wanted you to follow them to the “T” and why he wanted you to be proficient in knowing the standards. You’ll be reminded that this career is more than the education, benefits, travel and whatever reason you decided to join other than serving your country. Once that reflection or memory surfaces, you’ll associate the why behind it. So let me take this moment to remind you now. 

Can you answer the following?

  • Did you fully understand what you committed to by saying yes, you’ll serve?  
  • Are you READY to fly, fight, and win?
  • Are you READY to go in 72 hours?
  • Have you reviewed the recent TASKORD, and/or
  • Have you read the most recent update to the AFPD 1-1?

We need to always be in a ready state. If we must pause on whether we are in standards or how to read the standards, be it from uniform to how you do your job, it degrades our ready state. This is an elite team that you agreed to join with the understanding you will follow all set standards.

So, this moment brings me back to it being a time for reflection and change. We need to change our attitudes and habits. I challenge us all to get re-engaged and re-focused. Find the above and review and refresh yourselves to stay relevant and ready. Once you are good, find a wingman that may need an assist with this as well and help them. 

For me personally, Colonel Drescher, I appreciated that our career paths crossed when they did. I wish you nothing but tranquility and solitude for your next chapter in life, though I know you’ll still be watching us from the sidelines and won’t shy away on giving us constructive feedback on our progress. We salute you!

For those of us remaining, now the time has come to turn to our new leader and welcome him with patience and transparency. We look forward to working with you and entrust you’ll keep us moving fiercely through this transformation and enabling our readiness.