My priorities: mission, people, safety

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen. David W. Eidsaune
  • Air Armament Center Commander
"If you take care of the people, they will take care of the mission." - This is a quote most have heard at least once. It is also a leadership philosophy I've tried to live by and have found it pays big dividends in terms of mission accomplishment and quality of life.

I am honored and humbled to be given the awesome responsibility of leading the Air Armament Center. As an acquisition professional, I've aspired to lead one of AFMC's premier centers. As a test professional, I've aspired to lead a world-class test operation. After many attempts, I finally made it to Eglin! No doubt, this command is the pinnacle of my career so far.

I know any time a new commander shows up, people want to know: "What is the new guy like? What are his priorities?" For those of you, who missed the Change of Command, let me reiterate my priorities: mission, people, and safety.

First, like you, I want to keep our focus on the Mission. I won't let anyone forget why we are here ... to support the warfighter and the Global War on Terror.

I spent last year in Iraq. Every week, I briefed the Multi-National Force Commander on weapons expended during the previous week. Not once during the year, did I have to tell him that one of our missiles or bombs misguided or malfunctioned, causing unintended collateral damage.

That is true testament to the quality of work that is accomplished at the Air Armament Center.

People: I tried different leadership styles as a young commander ... some worked, some did not. However, I always came back to a style that focused on people.

People excel if: they have a clear understanding of your vision and mission and how they contribute to that mission; they have the tools and training that will enable them to succeed; and there is a focus on quality of life, both in the workplace and at home.

Finally, Safety has to be in the forefront of everything we do. In my mind, safety can never be emphasized, planned for, or discussed too much. The mission here comes with considerable risk - risk that has to be managed and mitigated - on the ground, in the air, at home, while on vacation. Any hazard that affects the health and welfare of Team Eglin concerns me, especially when it involves a serious injury or death occurs that could have been prevented with proper planning and operational risk management. Let's all work together on this--zero mishaps and accidents!

In my short time here, I am already impressed with the capabilities and professionalism of this outstanding team. My wife, Jane, and I sincerely appreciate the warm welcome from the base and the community. We look forward to meeting you and taking on the many challenges and opportunities ahead of us!