By Dave Smith
21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colorado — “Do you know what your job is? To make other people’s dreams come true,” said retired Gen. Stephen Lorenz, describing the role of financial management professionals. Lorenz was keynote speaker for the Pikes Peak Chapter of the American Society of Military Comptrollers regional professional development institute held April 29 at The Club.
Lt. Col. Kenneth Walker, 50th Comptroller Squadron commander and president of the Pikes Peak chapter of the ASMC, said the event was to augment the annual professional development held by the national organization. The objective was to prepare financial management professionals with information so they will be better prepared to handle any changes in the field, Walker said.
“Instead of teaching them to do their jobs, we are giving insight to changes in the Air Force,” he said. “We can spend the day focusing on our career field and learn a bit more.”
The day-long event featured four breakouts with four sessions in each for a total of 16 mini-sessions. About 120 people attended the event, which was open to defense financial managers assigned to Schriever, Peterson and Buckley Air Force bases, Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, the U.S. Air Force Academy and Fort Carson.
Lorenz, who is the president of the Air Force Academy endowment, regaled the audience with stories and anecdotes from his nearly 40-year military career. Throughout his talk Lorenz continually referred to the many ways financial management professionals made a difference in his life and career, while also pointing out their importance in how war is fought and the military mission is carried out.
“People think (financial management personnel) are people who say ‘no, no, no,’” he said. “(But) I learned how the Air Force worked from people like you,” calling the group strategic thinkers.
Budgeting and finances are a daily concern for financial management professionals and military operators, often tied to doom and gloom statements about programs and materials being cut. However, Lorenz said people like those in the audience knew how to make things work.
“In the 60 years of the Air Force, you’ve got us to the end of the year every year,” he said.