Official photo

Chief Master Sgt. Eric Dugger Official photo

Dyess Air Force Base, Texas --

How much would you pay for a house? More precisely, a house which provides protection and security for those that call it home. A house where the foundation is made from rich soil and a structure to withstand the test of time. A house that cannot only hold the brightest lights, but will emit light, hope, faith, and love. A house that will endure all climates of weather and never wither or fade in its beauty. I would argue, we already live in a house like this right now; it is what I call the institution of the United States Air Force.

The Air Force is built on the greatest foundation known to man. Its soil is made of the men and women from 50 states, five territories, and many nations. It’s made of principle, it’s made of integrity, it’s made of service, and it’s made of excellence. The foundation of this house is our Airmen.

The structure of the Air Force is built to stand the test of time. It’s built on wisdom, continuity, strength, and safeguards the institution from falling against enemies foreign and domestic. It is the brick and mortar that allows the house to stand for generations and generations. The structure of the house is our civilians.

The Air Force, just like a house, looks to stand for all time. The windows are used to look out and see the dreams of the future. We look over the horizon and see security, enthusiasm, initiative, and courage. The doors open and provide opportunities for education and training, promotion and responsibility, while at the same time allowing the next generation to enter. The windows and doors are the backbone and future of our Air Force are our Non-Commissioned Officers.

The Air Force must be able to endure any and all trials and tribulations; the roof protects the institution from these harms. The Air Force roof is made of inspiration, creditability, competence, and service. The roof will always step up when times are toughest, it will face down the enemy, shield and lift up the downtrodden. It shelters from depression, financial instability, and against in-equality and guards against the fear of the unknown. A roof devotes itself to a concept of serving for something greater. The roof of this house is our Senior Non-Commissioned Officers.

A house is not a home with ownership. The owners of houses are understanding, compassionate, influential, and committed. They understand the house needs to be repaired, maintained, and improved to prevent degradation. Innovation must be cultivated for the house to stay relevant. The owner most make bold decisions if the house is going to be ready for the next generation of leaders. The keeper of the house are the Officers.

The United States Air Force, our house, has stood strong for the past 72 years. We have generated global reach and global power from the greatest Air Force the world has ever known. Our mission is to Fly, Fight, and Win while serving as our country’s sword and shield, its sentry and avenger.

We raised our right hands to say to our families, our brothers and sisters in arms, and a nation, nothing will hurt you tonight, not on our watch. How much would I pay for a house like this? There is no cost I would not bear.