Family, standards, teamwork: A trio of balance

Command Chief Master Sgt. Craig Neri

Command Chief Master Sgt. Craig Neri

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Greetings, Sharks! What an honor it is for me to be selected as the 45th Space Wing's command chief, and even more fortunate that my family and I get to remain on Florida's beautiful Space Coast for a little while longer.

This is an extremely exciting time for my family and me, and I hope I will have the opportunity to meet each and every one of the great Airmen - our total force Airmen - who make magic happen as members of Team Patrick-Cape.

I look forward to hearing your stories and seeing what you do to contribute to the amazing mission(s) we support here on the Space Coast. But, before I get too far ahead of myself there are a few things I want to share with you that I think are important. These are things you will hear from me often and as I truly believe they are the foundation for our continued success.

First, and most important, I couldn't have reached the level of success I have in my career without my family at my side, and I'm not just referring to those I love and who share my last name. I'm also referring to the collective Air Force family - the people we work next to every day; the people who watch our children at the Child Development Center; the people who check our IDs as we enter the base; or the doctors and nurses who provide us top-notch medical care. I imagine many of you feel the same way. We simply can't do business without a strong family, both personal and professional. We all need to do our part to epitomize the Wingman concept and demand others do the same as well, so we ensure the Air Force's greatest asset remains ready and healthy to carry out our nation's business...it's everyone's responsibility.

Second, we wouldn't be a successful organization without established standards and adherence to those standards. The United States Air Force is successful at winning wars and launching rockets because of a commitment to high standards. In a time where downsizing and budget cuts are an absolute, our resolve to ensure we continue to foster an environment where high standards is the norm cannot be overlooked.

Unfortunately, we simply can't say we're going to continue to do business as we've always done it - the resources just aren't available. So, I challenge you to establish new standards - higher standards - and continue to improve upon our effectiveness as the premiere gateway to space by being innovative and more efficient; by working together to solidify communications and teamwork; and by demonstrating a commitment to personal and professional development to make this organization stronger.

Finally, a very simple word to ponder - pride.

Shark Pride shouldn't just be the namesake of the base paper. It should be a mantra we use to describe a professional attitude we have as members of Team Patrick-Cape. Be proud of who you are, Sharks. This is a great organization and you should be proud to be a part of it - I most certainly am. It is rare to live and work on a base with the caliber of personnel we have, with a mission as important as we perform, and in a location as beautiful as the Space Coast. Relish in the opportunity and don't be afraid to show your Shark Pride.

As your command chief, it is my goal to serve you and to do my best to live up to the triad of 'family, standards and pride.' Thank you so much for this incredible opportunity, and I look forward to what our future holds as members of Team Patrick-Cape. Go Sharks!