PACAF commander speaks at SUPT Class 19-06

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Beaux Hebert
  • 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

The Air Force gained 22 highly trained aviators following Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training Class 19-06’s graduation Feb. 15 on Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi.

Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., the commander of Pacific Air Forces at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, was the guest speaker for the event and he offered them advice on how to succeed into today’s Air Force.

First, Brown advised the class to fail to succeed. He said that you should never shoot for second place but inevitably you will fail at some point of time.

“It’s not about the fact that you failed but it’s how you responded to the failure,” Brown said. “I challenge you to fail to succeed and move on.”

Secondly, he encouraged them to challenge the status quo. He said the students will most likely arrive to the next assignment and ask about why they do the things they do and their answer will probably be “that’s the way we’ve always done it.”

“Each one of you will bring a fresh perspective to your weapon systems and the units that join and I ask you to challenge the status quo,” Brown said.

Brown also highlighted the importance of never taking “no” as a final answer.

“I often talk about the five stages of no like the five stages of grief; hell no, no, we’ll think about it, not a bad idea, why aren’t we doing that already,” Brown said. “If it’s something you really believe in and you feel passionate about it, never take no as a final answer. At some point the time will be right to make things happen.”

His final words of wisdom to the graduating class was to have attitude. He said to be successful in the Air Force you have to have some talent but you can’t succeed on talent alone, that’s where attitude comes in.

“You need to be a little bit confident, and at the same time you need to be humble, approachable and willing to listen to feedback,” Brown said.

After graduation, Brown met members of Team BLAZE and got to see a behind the scenes look at how the 14th Flying Training Wing creates pilots, cultivates Airmen and connects with one another. Brown was also able to take a ride in a T-6A Texan II, a first for the PACAF commander, before making his way back to JB Pearl-Harbor Hickam.