Commentary by Lt. Col. Michael Manor
1st Space Operations Squadron commander
On 24 June, I’m sad to say my time at Schriever Air Force Base will come to close with the 1st Space Operations Squadron change of command ceremony. At that time, no less than 1,455 days will have passed since my first voyage through the North Gate in June of 2009, badging into and trying to figure out what the small glass cage portals were all about, and hoping I didn’t get the special attention of the Air Force’s finest security forces team donning automatic weapons. Time most definitely flies when you’re having fun.
Looking back, the base has seen a tremendous amount of change ranging from opening base housing to bringing in new missions and satellites to include Operational Responsive Space-1, Space-based Space Surveillance and Advanced Technology Risk Reduction we currently fly in 1 SOPS. We’ve also had the privilege of acing two Air Force Space Command Inspector General inspections, scoring numerous awards that validated we are the best space operations wing in the known world, maybe even beyond, and we’ve received countless other accolades, high fives and praise. In short, we’ve managed to not only bring it, but we’ve left no doubt.
In simple sports terminology, we’ve had a run of consecutive championship seasons. Each year has brought unique challenges, yet each challenge has afforded the opportunity for our team to step up and find a way to win. In watching it all unfold during four years, I’m convinced this success is not only attributed to the amazing people here at Schriever, but more specifically to an unrivaled work ethic and willingness to work together. These old-school ideals of hard work and team work are demonstrated every single day in every conceivable place from our base fitness center, dining hall, janitorial services, personnel and financial experts to our fire department, security forces, communicators, space and network operators, and countless other base organizations. In every corner, in every office, there are great people willing to do whatever it takes to ensure our team succeeds. In doing so, there is a definite element of selflessness involved with these actions and putting the needs of the team ahead of our own. Although these selfless acts seem common when serving our nation, they can seem uncommon when looking at mainstream society where the achievements, successes and accomplishments of the individual are often held above all. The irony of valuing the accomplishments of the individual over those of the team is the simple fact that our greatest wins in life are rarely achieved alone. In fact, I can’t think of a single, significant thing I’ve achieved in my life where I haven’t been part of a team or group or had help from at least one other person. Where is the joy of getting the big win if you can’t share it with your teammates?
We’ve had a lot to celebrate during the past four years, and those victories have been so much sweeter having accomplished them together, as one of the greatest teams in the Air Force. For this, I simply wanted to say thank you for the opportunity to be part of that team. And, while the tumbleweeds, stark prairie scenery and drives on Highway 94 will be forgettable, the uncommon effort and the selfless dedication of the team here at Schriever will stay with me forever. Please know I will be cheering for the team as you continue this unprecedented championship run. I’m certain future success is inevitable because no other team will work harder, do more to help their teammates or be more selfless.