ACSC Commandant Welcomes Class of 2024

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ACSC Commandant Welcomes Class of 2024

Dear Class of 2024,

Col Matthew O. Berry, Commandant Congratulations on your selection to attend Air Command and Staff College (ACSC), the Department of Defense's #1 intermediate developmental education institute! We work to educate and develop air-minded joint leaders able to lead, compete, and win in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world. While here, you will engage in 10 months of professional military education designed around rigorous academics and packed with personal and professional development opportunities. This is a major career milestone that affords you the opportunity to grow as an officer and leader in the profession of arms. While you are here, my priorities for you are balance, relationships, and preparation.

Re-establish balance in your life. Over the past ten years, you have been busy defending your nation. You have deployed, worked hard to become an expert in your field, and succeeded at the toughest jobs. If not, you wouldn't be here. But these achievements have come with sacrifices in other areas of your life. Whether or not you realize it, your life is out of balance. So this year I encourage you to pick up an old hobby, improve your physical fitness, travel, schedule date nights with significant others, carve out time to play with kids, and set up social events with classmates. You will find that Montgomery is a wonderful place to live and play with a variety of activities on base (golf, pool, bowling), in town (museums, art galleries, baseball, local restaurants), and at Lake Martin (hiking, boating, fishing, camping).

Strengthen relations. Relationships are all we have when we leave our respective services. Use this year to rekindle old friendships and make new ones. Take the initiative to start conversations with your ACSC classmates. Your classmates include the best officers from across our services and more than 50 countries around the world. Civilian professionals from the DoD, FBI, and other agencies round out this diverse class.  You will be taught by a top-notch faculty that includes over 40 PhDs, and you will receive personal mentorship from experienced military and civilian leaders. Every year, senior leaders mention the value of the relationships they developed while at ACSC.

Prepare for the next five years of service. For most of you that means staff and O-5 command. Those jobs require you to consume large volumes of information, think critically and creatively, and communicate thoughts to your boss both verbally and in writing. To that end, the academics are unapologetically demanding. You will engage with material covering the theory of war, airpower history and application, international security, leadership, and joint planning. At times, the coursework will challenge you, and is intended to prepare you for what lies ahead.

My staff and faculty are dedicated to making your year at ACSC the best of your career. To find out more about the academics, student life, inbound info, and the local community, please review our website. Welcome to ACSC!

Educate to win!

Matthew O. Berry, Colonel, USAF