The 1976 graduate of the Air Force Academy brings decades of experience to the position including , more than 3,300 hours as a fighter pilot and commander at various levels. He was commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe prior to assuming the lead position in the nation’s aerospace team.
He said the Air Force role in the nation’s defense is indispensable.
“No one else can bring what we bring to the fight and any real warfighter knows that,” Welsh is quoted in a Pentagon account of his remarks during the change of command at Joint Base Andrews, Md. “Don’t every doubt yourself or your service.”
He stressed that everyone has a role to play in airman resilience, including the prevention of suicide and sexual assault.
“I believe you’re either part of the solution or you’re part of the problem,” he told the Andrews crowd. “There is no middle ground.”
Although the Pentagon account made no reference to major budget cuts facing the Department of Defense, Welsh said airmen mush shape the future.
“And that will require innovative thinking and different approaches to problems along with modernization,” he pointed out.
He said the number one priority is winning.
“Win the fight, today’s fight, the one that starts next week, next month, next year,” Welsh said. “Readiness and training are not optional.”
He said he would insist that airmen walk the talk when it comes to taking care of people.
“But we can never afford to forget that the only bottom line in this business is performance,” the new chief underscored. “No one will care how well we treated our people if we lose the next war.”
Welsh said he wanted airmen to know that he trusts them.
“I know how talented you are,” he said. “I know how well you serve and how proud you are of what you do. And you need to know that no one, no one ever, has been prouder to serve as your chief of staff.”