Thoughts on service

Col. Jay Flournoy, commander of the Air Force Reserve Command's distinguished visitor flying mission in Illinois, explains the role of the C-9C plane.  He and the aircrew provided information about the 932nd Airlift Wing during a recent flight.  Photo/Tech Sgt. Gerald Sonnenberg

Col. Jay Flournoy, commander of the Air Force Reserve Command's distinguished visitor flying mission in Illinois, explains the role of the C-9C plane. He and the aircrew provided information about the 932nd Airlift Wing during a recent flight. Photo/Tech Sgt. Gerald Sonnenberg

Maj. Gen. Robert Duignan, commander of 4th Air Force, presided over the change of command January 6 at the 932nd Airlift Wing.  Col. John (Jay) C. Flournoy, Jr., (center) took the reigns of the Air Force Reserve Command unit from Col. Maryanne Miller.  Photo/Tech Sgt. Chris Parr

Maj. Gen. Robert Duignan, commander of 4th Air Force, presided over the change of command January 6 at the 932nd Airlift Wing. Col. John (Jay) C. Flournoy, Jr., (center) took the reigns of the Air Force Reserve Command unit from Col. Maryanne Miller. Photo/Tech Sgt. Chris Parr

932nd Airlift Wing members stand before the C-40C distinguished visitor airplane inside the hangar at Scott Air Force Base, Ill.  They were waiting the arrival of their new commander Col. John (Jay) C. Flournoy, Jr.  Photo/Tech Sgt. Gerald Sonnenberg

932nd Airlift Wing members stand before the C-40C distinguished visitor airplane inside the hangar at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. They were waiting the arrival of their new commander Col. John (Jay) C. Flournoy, Jr. Photo/Tech Sgt. Gerald Sonnenberg

932nd Airlift Wing salutes the American flag during the change of command for incoming commander, Colonel John Flournoy, Jr.  Photo/Tech Sgt. Chris Parr

932nd Airlift Wing salutes the American flag during the change of command for incoming commander, Colonel John Flournoy, Jr. Photo/Tech Sgt. Chris Parr

932nd Airlift Wing honor guard members practiced before the recent change of command for Colonel John (Jay) C. Flournoy, Jr.  Photo/Tech Sgt. Gerald Sonnenberg.

932nd Airlift Wing honor guard members practiced before the recent change of command for Colonel John (Jay) C. Flournoy, Jr. Photo/Tech Sgt. Gerald Sonnenberg.

Members of the Air Force Reserve Command's Illinois flying wing, the 932nd Airlift Wing, salute the American flag.  Colonel John (Jay) C. Flournoy, Jr. is the new commander.  His arrival at Scott AFB is a homecoming of sorts. His father was assigned to the southern Illinois base three times. "When asked where I'm from, I tell people I was born in Alabama, but I consider Scott AFB my home town," said Colonel Flournoy. Throughout those assignments, he attended Scott AFB elementary schools and Mascoutah High School in Mascoutah, Ill., for much of his early life. He graduated from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, Ill., where he also graduated from the Reserve Officer Training Corps. He entered the Air Force in 1986. 

While on active duty, he served as a B-52 pilot and as a T-37 instructor pilot. He joined the Air Force Reserve in 1991 as an HH-60G Blackhawk helicopter pilot and became an Air Reserve Technician in 1994. Colonel Flournoy returned to active duty in July of 1999 where he served in the Reserve Operations and Requirements Division, as well as the Reserve Studies and Programs Division of the Air Staff. 

Following his tour at the Pentagon he attended National War College at the National Defense University in Washington D.C. Colonel Flournoy was deployed as Operations Group Commander of the 386th EOG Ali Al Salem, Kuwait.

Members of the Air Force Reserve Command's Illinois flying wing, the 932nd Airlift Wing, salute the American flag. Colonel John (Jay) C. Flournoy, Jr. is the new commander. His arrival at Scott AFB is a homecoming of sorts. His father was assigned to the southern Illinois base three times. "When asked where I'm from, I tell people I was born in Alabama, but I consider Scott AFB my home town," said Colonel Flournoy. Throughout those assignments, he attended Scott AFB elementary schools and Mascoutah High School in Mascoutah, Ill., for much of his early life. He graduated from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, Ill., where he also graduated from the Reserve Officer Training Corps. He entered the Air Force in 1986. While on active duty, he served as a B-52 pilot and as a T-37 instructor pilot. He joined the Air Force Reserve in 1991 as an HH-60G Blackhawk helicopter pilot and became an Air Reserve Technician in 1994. Colonel Flournoy returned to active duty in July of 1999 where he served in the Reserve Operations and Requirements Division, as well as the Reserve Studies and Programs Division of the Air Staff. Following his tour at the Pentagon he attended National War College at the National Defense University in Washington D.C. Colonel Flournoy was deployed as Operations Group Commander of the 386th EOG Ali Al Salem, Kuwait.

Col. Jay Flournoy (second from right in leather jacket), commander of the Air Force Reserve Command's distinguished visitor flying mission, helped welcome civic leaders back to the ground after an orientation flight to explain the C-9C mission.  Local leaders included mayors, business owners and civic leaders from a variety of backgrounds.  Standing at the far right is Tech Sgt. April Tarbill, one of the flight attendants who prepared meals aboard the flight.  Photo/Capt. Stan Paregien

Col. Jay Flournoy (second from right in leather jacket), commander of the Air Force Reserve Command's distinguished visitor flying mission, helped welcome civic leaders back to the ground after an orientation flight to explain the C-9C mission. Local leaders included mayors, business owners and civic leaders from a variety of backgrounds. Standing at the far right is Tech Sgt. April Tarbill, one of the flight attendants who prepared meals aboard the flight. Photo/Capt. Stan Paregien

The 932nd Airlift Wing welcomed graduate students and their professor from the University of Illinois on a tour.  The commander of the Air Force Reserve wing at Scott Air Force Base, Col. Jay Flournoy, gave a mission briefing and answered questions during an orientation for both the students and his new wing members.  Photo/Capt. Stan Paregien

The 932nd Airlift Wing welcomed graduate students and their professor from the University of Illinois on a tour. The commander of the Air Force Reserve wing at Scott Air Force Base, Col. Jay Flournoy, gave a mission briefing and answered questions during an orientation for both the students and his new wing members. Photo/Capt. Stan Paregien

The nosecone of a C-40C plane pokes into the frame as Colonel John (Jay) C. Flournoy Jr. becomes the new 932nd Airlift Wing commander as of January 6, 2008.

His arrival at Scott AFB is a homecoming of sorts. His father was assigned to the southern Illinois base three times. "When asked where I'm from, I tell people I was born in Alabama, but I consider Scott AFB my home town," said Colonel Flournoy. Throughout those assignments, he attended Scott AFB elementary schools and Mascoutah High School in Mascoutah, Ill., for much of his early life. He graduated from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, Ill., where he also graduated from the Reserve Officer Training Corps. He entered the Air Force in 1986. 

While on active duty, he served as a B-52 pilot and as a T-37 instructor pilot. He joined the Air Force Reserve in 1991 as an HH-60G Blackhawk helicopter pilot and became an Air Reserve Technician in 1994. 

Colonel Flournoy returned to active duty in July of 1999 where he served in the Reserve Operations and Requirements Division, as well as the Reserve Studies and Programs Division of the Air Staff. Following his tour at the Pentagon he attended National War College at the National Defense University in Washington D.C. Colonel Flournoy was deployed as Operations Group Commander of the 386th EOG Ali Al Salem, Kuwait.  Photo/Tech. Sgt. Chris Parr

The nosecone of a C-40C plane pokes into the frame as Colonel John (Jay) C. Flournoy Jr. becomes the new 932nd Airlift Wing commander as of January 6, 2008. His arrival at Scott AFB is a homecoming of sorts. His father was assigned to the southern Illinois base three times. "When asked where I'm from, I tell people I was born in Alabama, but I consider Scott AFB my home town," said Colonel Flournoy. Throughout those assignments, he attended Scott AFB elementary schools and Mascoutah High School in Mascoutah, Ill., for much of his early life. He graduated from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, Ill., where he also graduated from the Reserve Officer Training Corps. He entered the Air Force in 1986. While on active duty, he served as a B-52 pilot and as a T-37 instructor pilot. He joined the Air Force Reserve in 1991 as an HH-60G Blackhawk helicopter pilot and became an Air Reserve Technician in 1994. Colonel Flournoy returned to active duty in July of 1999 where he served in the Reserve Operations and Requirements Division, as well as the Reserve Studies and Programs Division of the Air Staff. Following his tour at the Pentagon he attended National War College at the National Defense University in Washington D.C. Colonel Flournoy was deployed as Operations Group Commander of the 386th EOG Ali Al Salem, Kuwait. Photo/Tech. Sgt. Chris Parr

SCOTT AFB, Ill. -- I recently had the pleasure of attending the Air Force Reserve Command Outstanding
Airman of the Year ceremony and witnessed one of our own Senior Airman being recognized as the outstanding Airman for Fourth Air Force. 

While watching his father join him on stage, I imagined the road that lies ahead for him as he continues his career as a member of the United States Air Force. 

I could see the utmost pride that his father had in his noteworthy accomplishment
and tremendous sense of excitement for what was yet to come in this young man's
career. I also thought about those that have come before him and blazed the trail that he will now take. 

From October of 2007 to July of 2008 the 932d Airlift Wing will have witnessed
three Chief Master Sergeants don their blue uniforms one last time after serving a combined total of over 93 years of faithful and honorable service to this nation. Rest assured that they didn't get to the top by just doing their jobs. 

Do you think that when Chief Master Sgts. Lyman, McManus, and Wuller raised their
right hands for the first time as Air Force Airmen that they ever `1 thought they would be a part of some of the most important events in our nation's history? Can you imagine what they might have said if someone told them when they enlisted that they would have the opportunity to play such a monumental role preparing the up-and-coming generation for the things to come. 

From Viet Nam, the destruction of the Iron Curtain, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and Operations DESERT SHIELD, DESERT STORM, SOUTHERN WATCH, PROVIDE COMFORT, NORTHERN WATCH, PROVIDE PROMISE, ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM, these airmen served with distinction, honor, and integrity. 

These Chiefs unselfishly gave of themselves and continuously prepared themselves for the next challenge. 

Each of these Airmen embodied the character and valor shared by so many great
leaders of our past. Have you prepared
yourself for the next bend in the Air Force
road? In your role as leader, are you doing
your part to ready your troops for what lies
over the next ridgeline?
Long before the Air Force leadership
adopted the core values of "Integrity First, Service
Before Self, and Excellence In All We
Do," a famous President was living those values
and served his entire life with an unbending
commitment to valor. President Abraham
Lincoln promoted and lived each day as an 
example to all of his subordinates, both friend and
foe. Three quotes sum up his commitment to those core values and serve as great examples to us all. 

On integrity, "In times like these men should utter nothing for which they would not
be willingly responsible through time and in eternity." On Service Before Self, "The probability that we may fall in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just; it shall not deter me." On Excellence, "I do the very best I know how, the very best I can, and I mean to keep on doing so until the end."
I salute Chiefs Lyman, McManus, and Wuller for being great examples and preparing
the rest of us for the things to come. 

I salute all 932d members for your sacrifice, dedication, and service; knowing that you are representing your units, the Air Force Reserve, and your country with honor. Finally, I salute our newest members of the Air Force and challenge you to prepare yourself for the experience of a lifetime. 

The road you choose to follow in your Air Force career may be freshly paved, full of potholes, or not even built yet. Your challenge is to ensure that you put yourself in a position that best prepares you for that road. Serve with pride and live as President Lincoln and these fine Chiefs did every day--with Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence In All That You do.