Eighteenth Air Force commander's intent Published May 12, 2014 By Maj. Gen. Barbara J. Faulkenberry 18th Air Force SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Ours is a time of great challenge and great opportunity - there has never been a more important time to lead our Airmen. During this time, I need each Airman in the 18th Air Force to lead with their sights clearly set on our mission and our people, while ensuring an environment of integrity where everyone can contribute to their maximum potential. The Leaders We Need Throughout our history the strength of our Nation has been the men and women who have solemnly and selflessly pledged their lives to its service. Their sacrifices laid the foundation for the freedoms we enjoy today ... and continue to inspire our own service. Above all, the pioneers of our military exemplified the attributes of strong leadership. They were unafraid to face great challenges in pursuit of operational and personal excellence and in so doing created the world's premier military force. Today, in the midst of great challenges for our Nation and our military, we are called on to lead just as boldly. Put simply, that is my expectation and my commander's intent: lead! Lead our Mission There is no doubt that unexpected trials lie ahead of us. Whatever tomorrow brings, you can be assured that one thing will not change ... our forces will be critical to the outcome -- whether assured deterrence, success on the battlefield, or lives saved. That means I need you to renew your focus and commitment to our critical global mission, to be innovative, and set conditions for us to deliver on that innovation. We can accept nothing less than excellence as our standard. Lead our Airmen Airmen and families, and the communities that support them, are the foundation of our success. Our obligation to them is simple: we must shape the outstanding leaders of the future by deliberately developing Airmen today ... and caring for the families who make their service possible. Lead with Integrity One of the most treasured gifts our Nation gives us is its trust. Hard-earned, that trust depends on Airmen embodying our core value of Integrity First. Integrity fuels the power of one; which is manifested every time an Airman exercises the moral leadership to right a wrong, take action in the face of injustice, or step in to save a Wingman. Simply put, we will never leave a fellow Airman behind and we will always remain faithful to the tradition of honor exemplified in our Airmen's Creed. Integrity also demands that we lead our Airmen to embrace a culture built on an appreciation for the dignity and respect of all individuals. Many of the conflicts that plague our world stem from a lack of respect of differences. Despite our many imperfections, America is different. Tolerance and diversity are strengths of our Nation ... and they are strengths of our Air Force. It is simply the best way we've found to operate in a complex environment and it is one of the reasons our military and our Nation retain a decisive advantage on the global stage. At a time when the success of our increasingly smaller Air Force hinges on innovative leaders who can offer creative solutions we need the best from everyone, individually or as members of teams. The Work of Our Nation The work of our Nation is impossible without the capabilities we bring. We extend America's might, whether to aid those in need or to confront our enemies. No one else can do what we do ... and it is what makes us an indispensable and critical partner in the world's greatest joint team. In addition, we have come a long way in making our command the premier global, warfighting NAF in our Air Force. Now we must build on those great efforts. It is my promise to lead from the front. Together, we will lead the changes that will make us even more effective in the face of tomorrow's great and unexpected challenges. Finally, thank you for your service to our command, our Air Force, and our Nation. I'm honored to have the privilege of leading you into our future!