Burke's priorities: take care of the mission, take care of the people

  • Published
  • By Brigadier General Darryl Burke
  • 82nd Training Wing Commander
I've had many memorable experiences over the course of 27 years in the Air Force. A few moments stand out--memories that will stay with me long into the future.

Wednesday's change of command ceremony was that kind of experience. It was humbling and awe-inspiring to look out at the men and women of this great wing and to have the honor to accept command. Thank you all for making it such a great moment for Doreen and me.

I am only beginning to fully grasp the scale and scope of the 82nd Training Wing's mission, but it's already clear that serving here represents a unique opportunity to shape the future of our Air Force and contribute to the combat capability of our armed forces.

There are about 330,000 men and women in our Air Force today. Each year, about 80,000 of them--along with members of our sister services--are trained by the 82nd, either here at Sheppard or at one of our 60 detachments. Think about that--each year, we touch one quarter of the Air Force.

That is an awesome responsibility, and I'm proud to share it with each of you.
As commander, I have two basic priorities: take care of the mission, and take care of people. As experts in the training business, you understand better than most that these priorities are closely connected--when you take care of people, they take care of the mission.

That's the essence of what we do, after all. We take care of the young men and women who pass under our stewardship by giving them the training, skills and values they will need to carry out the Air Force and Department of Defense missions.

The same principle applies to this wing and its people. I've been told more than once that my assignment at Sheppard will be the best of my career. My goal is to make this the best assignment of your career.

Taking care of people is about providing them with the training, tools, resources and facilities they need to succeed. It's about building a secure environment by focusing on force protection and safety. It means empowering people and recognizing excellence. And it means balancing work, fitness and family life so we all remain physically, mentally and emotionally ready.

I am confident that as we meet these goals--as we take care of each other--we will succeed in our vital training mission.

Thank you for all you do each day. I look forward to working with you as we continue to deliver highly trained, combat-ready warriors for the world's finest Air, Space and Cyberspace Force.