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From the Top: Air Force Reserve Guiding Principles -- The Strategic Compass

Lt. Gen. James F. Jackson

Lt. Gen. James F. Jackson

Citizen Airman/Feb. 2013 -- Over the last decade, you consistently raised your hand when the nation called, more so than during any time in our history. The events of 9/11 marked a turning point for the Air Force Reserve. We transitioned into an operational reserve by changing our organization and improving our processes. Every one of our Citizen Airmen has demonstrated the Air Force core value of "service before self," and I can't thank you enough.

As we look to the future, it's time to start thinking about answering key questions: What missions and capabilities should comprise the Air Force Reserve of the future? What does the next generation of Citizen Airmen look like? What changes are needed to improve tomorrow's Air Force Reserve?

To help answer these questions, the AFR Strategic Planning Council, comprised of our numbered air force commanders and senior leadership of the Air Staff and Air Force Reserve Command, helped develop a "strategic compass" or what we call our AFR Guiding Principles.

Our AFR Guiding Principles serve two purposes. First, they support the Air Force Reserve vision by guiding leadership when making decisions on the future of the Air Force Reserve. Second, they help create links between units and staffs, mission and budget, personnel and policy. Here is a summary of the four AFR Guiding Principles.

The Air Force Reserve will remain a:

Combat-ready, cost-effective and experienced force. Our "job one" is providing a combat-ready force. When the nation calls, the Air Force Reserve is ready to deliver warfighting capability anywhere in the world. Our Citizen Airmen bring unmatched experience, at a cost-efficient rate, to effectively meet worldwide mission requirements.

Force with operational capability, strategic depth and surge capacity. The Air Force Reserve provides integrated and flexible operational capability to combatant commanders. We are ready as a deterrent force or globally engaged to meet our nation's security needs. We provide the critical strategic depth for major conflict, and we are able to surge when necessary.

Viable and relevant force. The Air Force Reserve changes with the strategic environment to meet warfighter needs. Space, cyberspace, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance are game-changing to the joint fight. We leverage civilian skills and intellectual capital in these areas, as well as retain significant Air Force investments in training and personnel, such as special operations personnel.

Sustainable, professional military force. The Air Force Reserve is composed of federal Citizen Airmen who serve the nation -- stationed locally, serving globally. We offer various statuses and choices, allowing Airmen to participate based on changing personal and professional needs. We integrate into every staff -- combatant command and joint staff, major command, and Air Staff. We grow national leaders today for the betterment of our Air Force and the nation.

As we look toward the future of the Air Force Reserve, I remain grateful for the sacrifices of today's Citizen Airmen.

Thanks for all you do.