CMSAF supports Dobbins "Heritage to Horizons" event

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Rodney J. McKinley speaks to an audience of Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets during JROTC week, March 12-15, at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Georgia.  Chief McKinley emphasized the importance of academics and making the right choices during high school years in preparation for future opportunities in the Air Force, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserves and the other armed services

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Rodney J. McKinley speaks to an audience of Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets during JROTC week, March 12-15, at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Georgia. Chief McKinley emphasized the importance of academics and making the right choices during high school years in preparation for future opportunities in the Air Force, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserves and the other armed services

DOBBINS AIR RESERVE BASE, Ga. -- As part of an Air Force 60th Anniversary "Heritage to Horizons" celebration leading up to Air Force Week Atlanta, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Rodney J. McKinley met with servicemembers and student cadets during the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps Week event at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, March 15.

Chief McKinley toured the aircraft static displays and spoke to JROTC students, taking the time to answer questions and concerns of airmen, and emphasizing the importance of the mission of the Air Force, as well as the benefits of the JROTC program.

"In JROTC, I see an opportunity to give young high school students structure. An opportunity for them to do something they can be proud of," he said. "When I look at this crowd of cadets, I see future adults that are going to be better because they are in this program, but I also see future Airmen that are probably going to be better because of JROTC."

He added that the program teaches discipline and respect at a younger age, giving participants a head start on others when entering basic training, the Air Force Academy or Officer Training School.

Before speaking with the students, Chief McKinley visited with aircraft crewmembers, recruiters and other servicemembers working the event, answering their questions and addressing their concerns in an informal setting.

The chief stated that the biggest priority on the scope for the Air Force and Air Force Reserve is fighting and winning the global war on terrorism. He also stressed that reservists and guardsmen are crucial to achieving victory. Taking care of airmen and their families was also at the top of his list of priorities.

"We can't go out and fly, fight and win without our total force, to include our CEOs --civilians, enlisted and officers," he said. "If we relied just on our active duty Airmen, there is no way we could do the missions we do around the world. The name tape across the front of our BDU's doesn't say Reserve, Guard or active duty. It says U.S. Air Force."

The top enlisted servicemember's trip to Dobbins came just a few days before the first Air Force Week of 2007, in Phoenix. The purpose of Air Force week is to increase public awareness and support of operations and the war on terrorism. Atlanta is scheduled to be one of six cities to host a week-long event Oct. 8-14, and Chief McKinley is scheduled to attend.

Before leaving, the chief expressed his thanks to those who helped to set up JROTC Orientation Week, stating that he was pleased with the work Dobbins is doing.

"The American public needs to know what our Air Force is doing and what our capabilities are. These Air Force weeks are doing exactly that," Chief McKinley said. "I'm very pleased with all the airmen, everything I've seen here. Without doubt, Dobbins is doing their part and they're representing the Air Force very well."