EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE --
As a child, I looked up to members of the US Air Force. I was inspired by their amazing performance in Desert Storm, read stories of aerial valor in Vietnam and Korea, and knew the origin stories of the US Army Air Corp by heart. In short, I wanted to be on a high performing team that was devoted to aerospace, united with each other, and selfless in commitment to American ideals.
Whether you serve in uniform or civilian clothes, I know you joined this service for similar reasons. Personally, it continues to be the greatest honor of my life to serve with you.
Over many recent months, we have all witnessed events across our nation that have given us pause. Issues regarding the pandemic, racial strife, social division/isolation, political violence, and economic hardships have given rise to extremism in many forms. If you are like me, it is hard to make sense of it all. In times like these, we must return to our core values to guide us through.
Hence, on Monday 15 March, we will have a Basewide Stand-Down Day to address extremism in our ranks. As stated clearly by our SECDEF, DAF, and AFMC Senior Leadership, this is a serious topic that requires our full commitment. Admittedly…this will be a difficult conversation. Always remember, however, that the wrongs we walk past…we endorse.
The purpose is to remind ourselves on the importance of our oath of office, define impermissible behaviors, and outline procedures for reporting suspected or actual extremist behaviors. Please feel free to also use this as a “Hard Talk” opportunity to share perspectives and learn from each other. This upcoming Monday is the start, not the end, of an ongoing effort designed to make us even stronger as a team. Use it to re-commit to the idea that what unites us is far stronger than what could drive us apart.
On behalf of Brigadier General Higer, the 412th Test Wing Command Team thanks you for giving this difficult topic the attention it rightly deserves. We continue to be proud of Team Edwards and all that you do to advance national defense from The Center of the Aerospace Testing Universe.
Colonel Randy “Laz” Gordon, PhD
412th Test Wing Vice Commander