The season for reflection

  • Published
  • By Maj. Gen. William J. Bender
  • U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center
With the holiday season in full swing, workloads should start winding down as we spend time with family and friends and prepare ourselves for another busy year ahead. This is also the time when we should all take a step back from our hectic schedules and reflect on the achievements and challenges from the past year.

When I think back on 2012, the first word that comes to mind is "change." The Expeditionary Center went through significant changes this year, following a reorganization that took place just the year before. We have a new organizational structure with greater responsibilities, and have taken them on with grace and professionalism.

With that being said, the second word that comes to mind is "resilience." This past year has delivered challenges, big and small, from organizational changes, to manpower cuts, to a hurricane that wreaked havoc on our local communities. Through all of those obstacles, the men and women of the Expeditionary Center remained resilient and focused on the mission, and for that I am truly grateful.

As we gear up for 2013, take the lessons you have learned from this year and set goals that will enable you to improve yourself as well as the Air Force. With war efforts in Afghanistan winding down, think about how we can sustain and improve the training we provide, and continue collecting lessons learned to ensure operational success in the future. Find new ways to efficiently and effectively accomplish the mission. With the current fiscal environment, now is a more important time than ever to be innovative and adaptive.

Lastly, take care of yourselves, your families and your fellow Airmen. The holiday season can be stressful for those going through financial troubles, or dealing with the loss of a loved one, or those unable to make it home to be with family and friends. Take a moment to appreciate those who will spend their holidays overseas, and lend a helping hand to those here at home in need.

Sue and I thank you for your service and wish you and your families a peaceful holiday season and only the very best to come in the New Year!