A new day on SJAFB - Bring it on!

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. -- It's a new day on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. Can you feel it?

There's an excitement in the air - a sense of pride, teamwork, personal responsibility and warrior spirit. New wing leadership always comes with a new message. But the leadership team of Col. Steve Kwast, 4th Fighter Wing commander, is special. They've brought an energy and enthusiasm that's palpable and a message that's clear and decisive.

They are going to lead the wing to the next level of personal responsibility, the next level of excellence and the next level of mission capability.

"Fourth but First" is not just a slogan - it is becoming reality!

But here's another reality. Enthusiastic leaders don't put gas in jets. They don't serve meals to hungry warriors (although I did see the command chief serving chicken nuggets at the dining facility). They don't process travel vouchers, guard the flightline, fix plumbing problems, deliver F-15E parts, perform physical therapy, or remove and replace aircraft actuators or do any of the other thousands of essential tasks that keep our wing functioning smoothly everyday.

Who does these things? Of course, it's outstanding Airmen. We're all Airmen - from GS-4s to GS-14s, lieutenants to generals, Airmen Basics to Chiefs. We are the most lethal weapon systems and the most important people that come through the doors everyday.

Without us, computers are paperweights, vehicles come to a screeching halt, jets are static displays and the wing's mission doesn't get done. Without us, our nation loses a capability that ensures its very freedom.

Because of this heavy responsibility, I challenge every Airman to communicate loud and clear to our new leaders. The next time you see one, look him or her square in the eye, give'em a firm handshake and say "Sir (or Ma'am), bring it on! I am willing, ready and able to take things to the next level!"

Welcome our new leaders to the best fighter wing in world. It's a wing that's never failed and a wing that deploys not only the most lethal weapon system, but the most lethal warriors. The wing brings terror to the terrorists anytime, anywhere.

Col. Kwast's vision fits like a glove here. Enthusiasm and energy are contagious. However, enthusiastic leaders don't get the mission done, energized and enthusiastic Airmen do.

Therefore, leaders at all levels must buy in and enthusiastically communicate this new excitement throughout every element, flight and squadron; not weekly, monthly or quarterly, but everyday. We must instill this new sense of mission and pride into our Airmen because pumped-up troops guarantee mission success.

We're good but we can be better! We're strong but can be stronger! We're proud but long to be more proud! Oh, yes - it's a new day! Bring it on!