Commentary: Carrying forward the mission of Dover Air Force Base

As I enter command, I want to first say thank you on behalf of my entire family for the ongoing support in the local community and on base. The change of command ceremony alone was a significant undertaking during a time when the “Eagle Wing” is extremely busy around the world.

As I said goodbye to the Safranek family, I was also reminded of Simon Sinek’s “Styrofoam Cup” message, which used the analogy of switching from a Styrofoam cup to a ceramic mug for senior leaders entering into positions of increased responsibility.

Col. Matthew Jones

The lesson is, “The ceramic cup was never meant for me; it was meant for the position I held. I deserve a Styrofoam cup. Remember this as you gain fame, as you gain fortune, as you gain position and seniority.

People will treat you better; they will hold doors open for you; they will get you a cup of tea and coffee without even asking. They will call you, “Sir” and “Ma’am,” and they will give you stuff. None of that stuff was meant for you; that stuff is meant for the position you hold.”

I, too, deserve a Styrofoam cup.

While a new commander often brings significant change in strategy to an organization, I have had the privilege of serving as the wing’s vice commander: a position in which I was given the opportunity to work on the existing strategy. As such, our overarching mission and vision will remain unchanged.

MISSION: Provide rapid global airlift, combat-ready airmen and unrivaled installation support.

VISION: World’s Premier Airlift Wing

As our new leadership comes together, we will be looking at where we can focus our priorities and what initiatives are achievable in the short-term. It should come as no surprise that we will emphasize readiness, continue to improve our ability to operate in a contested environment, better develop airmen and look for more innovative ways to solve problems.

I want to end by thanking my wife Christie and daughters Devyn and Brooke for their personal sacrifice and love, which allow me to continue serving our nation. Your support means the very most to me.

Operate the best. Care the most. Have some fun along the way

Col. Matthew Jones is commander of the 436th Airlift Wing at Dover Air Force Base.