Back in December, we embarked on a journey to bring about cultural change across the Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker. I asked every member of the team - officer, noncommissioned officer, civilian and contractor - to step up and take the challenge to change.

I am proud to tell you that more than 3,000 members of our workforce raised their hands and said, "I want to be a part of it."

We then went a step further and asked those members to further demonstrate their willingness to serve by submitting their applications for selection to the Leading Change Team. This team will initially develop and guide our change efforts.

The number of applications we received was truly remarkable. Ninety-three men and women responded to the call to not only be a part of it, but to be part of the team that leads it. That, in itself, is a huge victory, and it serves as a testament to the superb quality of our Fort Rucker work force.

With the establishment of the Leading Change Team comes the opportunity to put real and meaningful changes in place. Over the course of the next few weeks, members of the Leading Change Team will gather together to chart our way ahead. They will facilitate a shared understanding of efforts and enable sub-groups to expand our reach of change. Again, I encourage you to step forward and be part of these sub-groups. Although we were not able to select everyone for membership to the Leading Change Team, we cannot get this monumental task done without your help and support.

Regardless of your level of involvement in our efforts to change and adapt, I encourage each and every one of you to remain involved and vigilant as you identify shortfalls and inefficiencies throughout the days and weeks ahead.

This cannot be a top-driven effort, so as you identify problem areas, work within your immediate organizations to fix whatever needs fixing. If the problems you find are beyond your scope, then make sure our Leading Change Team is aware so that they can put their efforts and resources to find viable solutions.

Attacking change is a leap of faith, especially when elements of our culture believe change is not possible. I want to encourage you to have faith and to challenge cultural inertia. I want to thank those of you who remain committed to changing the way we do business so that inefficient processes are replaced with greater efficiency, effectiveness, flexibility, innovation and creativity. Change is not easy but with your help, we will succeed.

To quote our Army's 34th Chief of Staff, Gen. Eric Shinseki, "If you don't like change, you'll like irrelevancy even less."

Thank you for your commitment and for everything you do for our Soldiers and their Families.
Above the Best!