CSAF: Letter to Airmen

  • Published
  • By Gen. T. Michael Moseley
  • Chief of Staff of the Air Force
It has been my highest honor to serve our great country as an Airman for almost 37 years. In peace and in war, I've had the privilege of serving alongside countless outstanding men and women--Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines--who have pledged themselves to our country's defense. 

I was honored and humbled to be appointed the Air Force's 18th chief of staff and have been proud to serve our Airmen, their families and the American people in that role. Upon taking the oath of office, I committed myself to Secretary Wynne and to the Air Force to ensure we provided the right forces at the right time so that our nation and its allies are victorious in the Global War on Terror and ready to meet future challenges. Working to fulfill that commitment and do the right thing for America and its Airmen, at a crucial point in history, has been the most rewarding experience of my life. 

Given my pride in our service and its distinguished history, you can imagine how it pained me to read the recent report concerning lapses in the control of nuclear-related assets. The profession of arms is a demanding one, and the expectations are as high as the stakes of national security. As our service's senior uniformed leader, I take full responsibility for these events that have hurt the Air Force's reputation and wrongly raised questions about our commitment to our core values of Integrity First, Service Before Self and Excellence in All We Do. The nation places a sacred trust in its Airmen, and I have a deep personal belief that I am accountable for that trust. Therefore, the honorable thing for me to do is to step aside at this time. Secretary Gates has approved my request for retirement. 

You are the strongest and finest Air Force the world has ever known. And you will do whatever is necessary to make the Air Force even stronger. Most importantly, you will continue waging and winning today's fight as part of the joint team, even as you take care of our Airmen and prepare for tomorrow's challenges. Before I depart the fix with an unceasing admiration of your devotion to our country, let me thank you one last time for all you do every day for the Air Force and our great nation. Jennie and I are immensely proud of having served with each and every one of you, and our hearts remain with you and our Air Force. I am an American Airman, and I always will be. 

Fly, fight and win, now and forever!