Showing posts from August, 2014

Air Force Leaders Should Read This Book

I just finished reading  The Icarus Syndrome: The Role of Air Power Theory in the Evolution and Fate of the U.S. Air Force by Carl Builder. He published this book in 1994 and I wish I had read it 20 years ago as a new Air Force second lieutenant. Builder makes many interesting points in the book, but in this brief post I'd like to emphasize one of his concluding points: the importance of a mission statement. Builder offers the following when critiquing the Air Force's mission statement, or lack thereof, around the time of his study: [Previous] Air Force of Staff, General John P. McConnell, reportedly endorsed the now-familiar slogan      The mission of the Air Force is to fly and fight.  Sometime later, the next Chief, General John D. Ryan, took pains to put it more gruffly:      The job of the Air Force is to fly and to fight, and don't you ever forget it. (p 266) I remember hearing "Fly, Fight, Win" in the 1990s as well. Builder correctly critic