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Excellence: Commander challenges wing to fly, fight, win

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Striving for excellence in everything one does was the overall theme as the new 21st Space Wing commander addressed Airmen and civilian employees at the base theater during his first commander's call Aug. 8.

"One of my favorite words is 'excellent.' It means to do your best," said Col. John Shaw, 21st Space Wing commander. "You should always be looking at your duties and asking yourself, 'how can I be the very best at this job?' When you are doing your job, make it a best practice in the Air Force. You should strive to be the very best."

Shaw opened up with insight into his "unpublished" biography which touched on family life, being active and the admittedly geeky love of all things space.

"What is really important to me is my family. Even though life is short, my family is going to be what is enduring to me," said Shaw.

Shaw went on to outline and provide his command philosophy on what he wants the wing as a whole to strive toward, consisting of three major areas.

Mission -- "We are all a team; don't think about just your unit or just your job. You should be thinking about 'how do I help the person next to me, how do I help the person in the building next to me, how do I help the unit next to me, how do I help the person in a unit halfway around the globe that is a part of my mission,'" said Shaw.

Vision -- "Stay ahead of our challenges and adversaries. When you are preparing your tactics, techniques and procedures, when you're running exercises, don't just think about the fight today. Think about where it is going to be in the future and be ahead of the adversary," he said. "That takes innovation, creativity and vision."

People -- "You have to take care of yourself and that is on every dimension; spiritual, physical, mental, professional. I need you to do that," Shaw said. "It is very important to me that we have within the 21st SW an atmosphere of dignity and respect for all."

Shaw closed his first commander's call with a reminder of how we should treat one another, which was derived from one of his favorite movies, "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure."

"I can't think of five better words on how we should behave toward one another, as Airmen and as human beings," said Shaw. "Be excellent to each other."

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