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NEWS | Sept. 18, 2013

Maj Gen Martin visits Charleston, speaks with 628th Airmen

By Capt Frank Hartnett Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Maj. Gen. Frederick Martin, U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center commander, conducted a two-day visit of Joint Base Charleston Sept. 16 and 17, touring the base, as well as concluding his visit by hosting an All Call in the JB Charleston - Air Base Theater.
The commander's visit included tours of the Airman & Family readiness center, the 628th Civil Engineer Squadron and Joint Base mission partners including the 841st Transportation Battalion, Army Strategic Logistics Activity-Charleston, Naval Consolidated Brig Charleston and Navy training units.

During his stay, Martin held an All Call with personnel from the 628th Air Base Wing and gave insight into his leadership style, values and observations of JB Charleston.

"When I took command I explained that I had two points that I wanted to make," said Martin. "First, is my thankfulness; I'm thankful for the opportunity for Chief Stone and I to be here in this great Air Force with people such as yourself, to be in this position and serve all of you."

The general continued, "Second, is partnerships, and I share an African proverb, 'If you want to go fast, go alone -- if you want to go far, go together.'"

He explained the importance of teamwork and partnership building. "If you want go far, build capacity and sustain it, so that when you are gone that it will continue, then you better go together."

Martin also commented on the link between the military and off-base community at Charleston.

"There's no stronger community support to this wing, and that's because of the great Airmen we have, and the veterans that we have, and the families we have -- you all get involved in your communities."

The commander took on a more personal tone, when he explained to the audience that faith, family and friends have shaped who he is, how he leads and the decisions he makes.

"Why do I value faith? It defines my character, beliefs and values. It's yours to determine, but as humans I believe it's a part of us."

He added, "You may not have a spouse, but we all have a family. We come into the service from a family and we will leave the service to return to our families and those are enduring values. Keep those bonds strong with those who know you best."

During the all-call, the commander tossed a football into the audience, asking each member where they were from, what they do and why they joined the Air Force. He used the opportunity to remind Airmen of the benefits of service.

"Hopefully you can say 'I am doing something important for our military'," said Martin. "You can go home and say I am doing something for my country, getting an education, learning a job, I'm growing and developing, I'm respected and respecting of others."

Before concluding, Martin offered his thoughts on the importance of JB Charleston.

"Charleston is one of the most important joint bases, take great pride in the fact that you are a part of a significant capability of the United States military," said Martin. "Whether its sea, rail or air, it happens at Charleston, South Carolina."